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Hop Along

Hop Along Record Release Show at FUC June 1

Hop Along are celebrating the release of their album Get Disowned (which you can read about in our review HERE) at First Unitarian tonight, along with Little Big League, Mary Lattimore and Bandname. On the continuum of bands who specialize in the soft-loud dichotomy, Hop Along  - fresh off the set of their debut music video for “Tibetan Pop Stars” (below) -  is winning a good amount of Philly’s attention. They come at it by way of Frances Quinlan’s gossamer vocals, paired with punk and pop-folk campfire sounds, setting an achingly introspective mood that stays behind even when the band careens between tiptoeing, unhurried interludes and angular outbursts. Their supporting acts are a collage of both the art-punk and delicate folk ends of Hop Along’s spectrum. Bandname bring the good times with Philly garage rock and roll. Little Big League contain ex and present members of Strand of Oak, Post Post and Titus Andronicus. And Mary Lattimore gives you the chance to see punk and classical harp all in one set. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 8pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Tiffany Yoon) - Alyssa Greenberg


Album Review: Get Disowned - Hop Along

A simple interwoven electric guitar riff accents rough, acoustic guitar strums, and then singer/songwriter Frances Quinlan’s wispy, lilting vocals enter the equation like a glimpse of sunlight parting the clouds of an overcast sky. Thus, begins Hop Along’s latest full-length album Get Disowned.
Opener “Some Grace,” a subtle bare-boned introduction, shares a bit of the fragility and vulnerability that can be found in Quinlan’s lyrics. The song morphs into faint electronic bleeps dissolving into a serene calm. However, the pending storm arises with the following track and the album’s lead single “Tibetan Pop Stars,” which cuts through the tranquility with boisterously dirty power chords and rolling thunder drumbeats. Once again, the vocals seem to play peacemaker, a calming force among the turmoil. That is, until the chorus takes flight, then falls to earth with the repeated lines “nobody deserves you the way that I do,” which gradually rises from the ashes of a broken heart. “No Good Al Joad” is paced by steady downhill bursts of acoustic guitar that is pierced by the interloping hammer of a pickaxe electric guitar. Quinlan’s vocals strain in an effect that expresses the emotive tug and pull of the narrative. This all comes to a head after a brief percussive interlude, which captures the ear signaling for audience participation. She reveals, “You are my favorite, because you are a long shot. You are my enemy, because you forgot.” This is just before pulling back into a corner to protect herself as she gathers the strength to share a bit of philosophical wisdom and universal truth: “Everybody is a little hard to love sometimes.”
With the precise production work of Algernon Cadwallader’s Joe Reinhart, Get Disowned is a balance between agitated artillery-style rock with intimate, late night confessional vocals that dig their nails into your skin while simultaneously whispering sweet nothings into your ear. Despite the constant presence of distinctly tenacious guitar thrashes, Quinlan’s lyrical message remains a priority. It is often aided by the fact that the vocals are directed at the listener. In this manner, Hop Along invites us into an emotionally turbulent household leaving no curtains drawn or door locked.
You can purchase Get Disowned via Hot Green Records. Hop Along will also be celebrating its release tomorrow night at The First Unitarian with Bandname, Little Big League and Mary Lattimore. - Michael Colavita


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