From the glorious musical garden known as Chicago comes this new 4-song E.P. from Hemmingbirds.  This trio has been around for a while – 4 overall releases (2 albums; this is their second E.P.) and they waste no time in going for the jugular.

From the first throttle of the guitars on the opening track (which is also the title cut) you get upbeat tempos, melodic lines, a deep rhythm section with heavy pounding drums (which I love) and catchiness all around.  “Mess Of Things” is a wash of guitars and textures along with effects (like the sound of scratching vinyl) and showcases the “quiet/loud/quiet” blueprint very well.  “Stay” is a riff-driven piece that has groove (listen to that bass line) and a very Edge-oriented guitar along with stop-on-a-dime breaks that few bands pull off with such clean precision while “Lover, You’re Out There” is the surprise – a slow, very dramatic piano-based piece that musically reminds me of The Beatles’ “Free As A Bird” in some places – the use of a cathedral organ effect is powerful and emotive and closes this brief collection in a highly satisfactory manner.

For a three piece, Hemmingbirds don’t just turn it up and thrash the hell out of everything;  they use space and subtlety and this E.P. is a shining example of how to do it clean.


Half A Second is available now


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About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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