Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hooper / Spells - Split Cassingle


Snappy Little Numbers (2016)

Credit again to Snappy Little Fingers, both for bringing back the wacky cassingle artwork of my youth and for sending over a copy of this tape to review.  I was pretty excited to pop this guy in when I opened it up.  After all, I'm a pretty huge Hooper fan and I've enjoys some of Spells prior work as well.

As far as the Hooper side goes, I have to admit I'm a little disappointed.  They start off with a cover of Marissa Nadler's "Diamond Heart."  It's alright, but is really lacking the energy and hooks that have made Hooper one of my favorites.  But again, it's a cover, so you can only do so much.  I had much higher hopes for the second song on their side of the split, "My Friend The Beast."  Best I can tell, this isn't a cover song, but it really doesn't sound much like the Hooper I've come to know and love.  The tempo is slow and deliberate and aside from a few high spots towards the end, the song just feels kind of thin.  Not at all what I was expecting from these guys.

For their side, Spells sticks to the tried and true.  "Starch Ideas" is the best kind of upbeat chord progression pop.  Through in a nice hooky chorus and some nice backing vocals and you've got a really solid song.  For their second song, they provide "A Failure's Wake."  The title makes me wonder.  Do they mean a wake for a failure, like the failure died or do them mean the wake of a failure, like the wake that a boat causes.  Either option provides some interesting thoughts.  Like "Starch Ideas," this is another bouncy, catchy song.  I really didn't expect the Spells side of this tape to be the one that I liked the most, but there you have it.

This is an interesting little split.  I'm especially curious to see where Hooper goes next.  Is this a new direction or just an anomaly?

Hooper / Spells - Split Cassingle:

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