Despite their name, Hooray For Earth have always been a relatively gloomy band, though not ‘gloomy’ or ‘dark’ in the way that those words are usually applied to bands. Singer/guitarist Noel Heroux doesn’t wax on about tragic subject matter, they don’t channel Joy Division or other eighties New Wave acts, they aren’t metal, etc. But there has been a black cloud above their complicated-but-heavy art-rock, even if it’s ostensibly only about losing a cellphone (from last year’s Cellphone EP – QRO review). Yet there’s a brighter atmosphere to their latest, Momo EP (though again, not ‘bright’ or ‘atmosphere’ in the way that those are usually applied to bands), as the reverb takes center stage.
This is all best exemplified in leadoff track/single "Surrounded By Your Friends". The uplift is matter-of-fact, not ‘up with people’, retaining Hooray’s accomplished sound, through trading in some of the distorted guitar for synths. Hooray have always been a bit too accomplished, too complex, and this change in tone makes their sound thankfully more accessible. The following "Comfortable, Comparable" is a little more straightforward, but in the same successful vein. Yet the band’s reverb doesn’t have to rely on brightness – or darkness, as "Get Home" brings a level reverb procession.
After everything is so well put together, it’s unfortunate that Hooray For Earth then get ambitious with "Scaling", a tribal-industrial piece that ain’t Yeasayer (QRO live review). But the growing procession power of live staple "Form" finishes Momo nicely.
Momo EP is being released exclusively through eMusic Selects (link), in conjunction with ABC News’ Amplified, a series of interviews with indie bands, done by network anchor/reporter Dan Harris (link to Hooray interview). You could say that brightened things up for Hooray For Earth, but this material was written & recorded beforehand. Hopefully, things are just naturally getting better & better for the planet.
MP3 Stream: "Surrounded By Your Friends"