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Hammock

Raising Your Voice... Trying to Stop an Echo

(Darla Records; US: 20 Nov 2006; UK: 11 Dec 2006)

This band got some ink and some ears tuned into them thanks to having some of their work used during the Torino Olympic Games coverage by NBC. And it’s this longing, melodic, melancholic, and thoughtful texture that seems to tug at one’s heartstrings from start to finish. A perfect example of this is the soaring, ethereal “I Can Almost See You”, which sounds like it would be a fantastic intro into a U2 anthem. It’s the type of music that hits you in the gut immediately. The title track is more of a lush, rock-oriented number that soars slowly but steadily. Fans of David Gilmour, Vangelis, or even Mark Knopfler would soak up the tender “Losing You to You”, which strolls along loosely. Just as fabulous are the somber, mournful “When the Sky Pours Down Like a Fountain” and the equally pensive “The House Where We Grew Up”. Hammock, which consists of Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson, makes everything turn to gold, especially on the aptly titled “Floating Away in Every Direction”, and later on with “Startle the Heavens (Lament)”. Nothing about this album is less than Grade A+ material, whether it’s the perfect “Disappear Like The Morning…” or the lovely “Passing Away”. It’s an album that forces one to reflect on both the highs and lows in one’s life.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


Tagged as: hammock
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