A longtime friend-of-the-Q (or ‘FoQ’) has been New York’s Hooray For Earth, so it’s been tough to watch the accomplished art-rock act not break through like we knew they should. Still, the band brightened up, and now their prospects are as well, having just signed to Dovecote Records, who are re-releasing an expanded version of their Momo EP. Hooray are set to play a record release show with labelmates Futureheads (QRO album review) on Tuesday, June 1st (QRO concert listing) at Brooklyn’s Music Hall in Williamsburg (QRO venue review), before heading out on a tour of the entire East Coast with buzz-bands The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (QRO live review) and Surfer Blood (QRO album review).
Of course, QRO was there when Momo was originally released digitally, and here’s the review of the record – QRO review:
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.MoreClick here for photos of Hooray For Earth at CMJ 2009 in New York, NY in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
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, in conjunction with ABC News’ Amplified, a series of interviews with indie bands, done by network anchor/reporter Dan Harris. 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.
The physical CD of Momo only adds one track at the end, the interesting guitar procession “Rolling/Nectarine”, which manages to be echoing while also be brightening. But this release is for all of you out there who haven’t gotten on the H4E bandwagon yet – it’s about time…
MP3 Stream: "Surrounded By Your Friends"