ALBUM REVIEW: HUSHTONES – GREETINGS FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Hushtones

Greetings From The Other Side

Words by Gary Lambert

Hushtones‘ debut album, Greetings From The Other Side, is a wild cocktail of heady pop melodies underpinned with frighteningly good guitar licks. I can hand on heart say that I’ve not stopped playing it since I got my hands on a preview copy. Bearing in mind their performance at FestEvol had me repeating the refrain “oh they’re just so fucking good” this should come as no surprise.

Starting the LP with the title track of the album sets the stall perfectly. Greetings From The Other Side (the song) showcases everything that Hushtones are about. From the opening riff, the five-piece grab your attention and don’t allow you to drift elsewhere. The guitar play is fuzzy and sharp, and could easily fit into music a hell of a lot heavier; but even that sharp riff isn’t given time to settle before being overlaid with some wonderful pop jangle. This mix of contrasting sounds is the signature of Hushtones, and put in LP format reminds me of The Beatles’ Abbey Road era. High praise indeed, but it’s deserved.

Latest single Sinking is another big tune with the combination of fuzzy guitar and velvet harmonies enough to make this man weep, but accompanied by a rhythm section which can only be described as tight AF it makes you jump out of your seat. Sinking makes my soul soar and could make my feet sore from dancing.

There are undoubtedly the influences of many bands at play in Greetings From The Other Side. Every time I listen to it, I seem to hear the memory of someone else. The Beatles and Supergrass to the fore one time, Fleetwood Mac and The Strokes next. It is a record that is born from years of listening to music, it is a record born from loving music.

It must be said too that the vocals of primary vocalist Martha Goddard on this album are breathtaking. Sweet, clean, and sharp, she could make the menu of the chippy around the corner sound untouchable, exotic and mystical. Probably on Wild does her talent stand out the most for me, not because it is the best vocal performance on the album, but because her voice really has to fight against the powerful guitar play. And it is her vocal that drives it.

In Your Head the album’s closer baffled me. Not because it was the wrong choice to finish with, it is definitely the right track to finish on, but I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t about eight minutes long. I don’t think you can have a four-and-a-half-minute epic, but this is close to it. So much happens in the track from the country music opening, to the beautiful rising harmonies, to a delightful guitar solo interlude and so on… Beautiful, just beautiful.

I love this album so much. I really hope you do too because it deserves to be heard far and wide. Having Greetings From The Other Side in your life will only make things feel a little bit better. And we always need that.

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