Von Hayes: Moderate Rock (self-released, 2019)

November 16, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Von Hayes: Moderate Rock

The newest album from lo-fi group Von Hayes seems a little more straightforward than some of their others, with most of the songs being around 3 minutes long. There aren’t any brief, abstract fragments here, and the songs aren’t always as immediate as they’ve been in the past. That said, even if this album may be “moderate”, it still pays off in the end, as a lot of the songs do stick in your head after a while, particularly “Ghostrunners” (one of the more Tobin Sprout-esque songs here) and “Oscar’s Grind (Beth Goes for Broke)”. There’s also plenty of moments of inspired weirdness, such as the cranky trumpets and exuberant screaming during the brief opener “Urinal Cookies”, or the way “Man of Few Verbs” whittles its meaty groove down to an angular, skeletal instrumental. Not to mention the scattered piano in the background of “Pissanthemum” which almost sounds like a ringtone at one point. This could be the more streamlined, effective model of Von Hayes, or maybe it isn’t — the lyrics can still be cryptically poetic, and the guitars are often a splatter of untamed feedback. Either way, excellent stuff as always.

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