Hallelujah the Hills – Colonial Drones

January 01, 1970





Hallelujah the Hills, out of Boston, build rough symphonies out of
homespun materials and  shouted choruses out
of existential crisis. With their battered orchestra pit of brass and strings,
slightly unstrung sincerity, and way with an unstoppable melody, they are,
perhaps, the best  latter day heir to Neutral
Milk Hotel. 


This is Hallelujah the Hills’ second album, following 2007’s
Collective Psychosis Begone, as well
as songwriter Ryan Walsh’s work with the underrated Stairs. Like the debut, Colonial Drones includes literate
ballads, hoarse throated shouters and songs that bridge the two. Lyrics are
good enough to jot down in notebooks, the best coming from “Station”: “I would
feel much better if this day had narration/but we’re living out some archetype
clear and blue/there are moments here that don’t come from this station/there
are lifetimes here repeated until they’re true.” There are guests — Cassie
Berman from Silver Jews joins on “Classic Tapes” and Titus Andronicus’ Patrick
Stickles on “You Better Hope You Die (Before Me)” — but mostly it’s Walsh and
his compadres conjuring a rough-hewn classic out of homey materials. Great stuff. 


: “Allied Lions”, “A Guide to the Worlds”, “Station” JENNIFER KELLY


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