An eclectic mash of indie pop, electro-shuffle, field
recordings and soundtracky funk a la David Axelrod, C. Scott Blevins’ inaugural album as Hyperstory has highs and
lows but no real center. The highs include “Ascension”, a showstopping,
bass-and-horn flaunting, wah twitching jam that reminds you of every 70s cop
show ever, and also, a little of Miles’ epic Jack Johnson. Blevins has
rallied 20 people to help him make this record, including session aces like
Joey Waronker and Deron Johnson, and on this dense, intricately made cut, it
all pays off.
At the other end of the spectrum, “A Happening” sounds like
a watery, Paxil-stuffed Blur, its indie-pop weightlessness braced, but only a
little, by a funky beat. In fact, if you insist on melodic pop, just skip ahead
to “Something Good,” which is altogether more driven, more menacing and more
interesting than the opening cut.
Perhaps because the cuts are so different, Blevins
intersperses them with found sound intervals, one of them a recording of a
street preacher urging people to have better values (“Mandate”), another of
footsteps, distant voices and car sounds (“Home”). Except as a buffer, these
don’t really work. They’re not inherently musical, not particularly evocative
of time or place nor do they shed much light on Blevins’ thematic
preoccupations. Indeed, you could consider them the stitching on a patchwork,
which is ably made in spots, thin and dull in others. There’s enough talent in
evidence that you suspect Blevins has a great record in him. This just isn’t it.
Standout Tracks: “Ascension” “Something Good” JENNIFER