Hammock
Raising Your Voice... Trying to Stop an Echo


4.5
superb

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (114 Reviews)
June 15th, 2015 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Warmth and serenity.

While listening to Raising your Voice…Trying to Stop an Echo, the listener can’t help but feel a rich sensation of warmth and serenity. As opposed to the band’s far superior predecessor, this album happens to be uplifting in the more traditional light. “I can Almost See you” and “Passing Away” aside, this Hammock outing is mostly devoid of any sense of sadness or sorrow. Whereas Kenotic gives off the vibe of adding profound beauty to the often dreary parts of nature and life, Raising your Voice evokes the feeling of the overwhelmingly warm, optimistic part of life. It also happens to be quite strange how the sometimes negative song names juxtapose perfectly with the straight up endearing way they present themselves in audio form. Even though some of the song names can easily throw off the listener at first glance and also drag at some points, any flaw can easily be overlooked and become greatly outweighed by the positives. By means of soaring ambiance, more post rock/shoegazing driven songs and tranquil guitar work, this album is surely to brighten up the listener’s day.

Though it certainly doesn’t shy away from solely ambient pieces of music, this record makes incredible use of the band’s post rock and shoegazing sound. Aided by an inspiring vision of passion and powerful soundscapes, the title track exists as an exceptional wall of sound driven song. It even has soothing vocals to top it all off. Much like the title track, “…Like Starlight into Day” proves to be another masterful endeavor in that same light, but it happens to be far superior. Not only is the guitar work trippy in the profound sense, but it also manages to make the listener feel on a deep level due to its moving nature. The acoustics and textured clean guitar tones collide together for a full sound perfectly, as well as the fantastic drumming and vocals adding an extra level of atmosphere. Meanwhile “Floating Away in Every Direction” serves as another album highlight, but also combines the two elements of post rock and shoegazing to create one of the best songs of its kind. The ambient guitar swell and lead into a gentle yet lovely guitar melody, but the song soon climaxes into one of Hammock’s most moving moments. The emotional guitar work soars on and the many textures really inspire the listener. The sensational wall of sound and strings used to close out the song is also a nice touch. It’s songs like these that truly makes Hammock a worthwhile listen.

Opposing some of the songs mentioned above are the more ambient driven tracks such as “I can Almost See you” and “Passing Away.” Both thoroughly sad, they each really drive home the essence of feeling a larger than life feeling of sorrow. They’re perhaps a bit out of place in the record’s overall mood, but they nonetheless prove to be exceptional pieces of music set aside. The beautifully bleak ambience of “I can Almost See you” opens up the record and it’s safe to say that it kicks it all off with a subtle bang. The overwhelmingly sad nature of the piano melody nearly brings tears to the listener’s eyes. Aided by female vocals providing another layer, the melody keeps getting higher, making for an even more moving ending. “Passing Away” appropriately is about as dreary as one would think. A hopeless anthem of loss, this track really drives home the general vibe it strives for by its stunning minimalism.

In addition to inappropriately named songs, the record does tend to overstay its welcome at some points however. Unlike Kenotic, which showcased interludes that did not make the record overlong, Raising your Voice contains interludes that are straight up unnecessary. Songs like “Clouds Cover the Stars” and “Sparkle and Fade” could have easily been omitted because they interrupt the overall consistent flow of the album. It simply gives off the impression that these types of songs were included in the package to extend the length of the experience to an unnecessary degree. “Sparkle and Fade” unfortunately brings the record to an underwhelming close and it really makes the listener wonder why the band didn’t make the ironically titled “Will you Ever Love Yourself” the album’s swan song. A solely texture driven song by means of inviting guitar work, this song would have been a much better choice to end things.

Any nitpick aside, Raising your Voice really has a way of making the listener expel a huge sigh of relief as the album runs its homely course. Never losing grip of its beautiful qualities and rarely becoming cheesy, this album has definitely found its well-earned place into the post rock hall of fame. Though it does break up the flow and mood of it all with an off putting opener and pointless interludes, it’s nearly every bit as affecting as its predecessor nonetheless. Not to mention how it possesses the same level of charisma as their more well-known peers. This exists as a gem in the genre that any hardcore fan should not pass up. If “Floating Away in Every Direction” teaches the listener anything, it’s that the expertly crafted combination of post rock/shoegaze/ambient seems made for each other and this album as proves to be an amazing starting place for that.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SnakeDelilah
June 15th 2015


12582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wag

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


14745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Uhh what?? I think you forgot the s ;)

YakNips
June 15th 2015


17203 Comments


why havent i listened to this yet

is this at all comporable to all is violent all is bright

Digging: Helen - The Original Faces

ComeToDaddy
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


1086 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"As opposed to the band’s far superior predecessor" why can't I neg a contrib review errgghhh.



Jk great review for an album that deserves all the praise it gets, nice work man! Small note, you use the phrase "happens to be" 3 times in the first paragraph and a bit, and it could easily be removed from two of them. The second one is particularly unnecessary, making the sentence clunky when you could just say "it's also quite strange". I enjoyed the read though (:

Digging: Haruka Nakamura - Twilight

Gyromania
June 15th 2015


18336 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i'm with you, nick

CK
June 15th 2015


6057 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YES

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


14745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha thanks guys. And nah this doesn't sound like Violent/Bright at all.

Gyromania
June 15th 2015


18336 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

although i will say i find a decent amount of this to be sad. the title track is even sort of sad when you consider the lyrics. for me this album makes me reminisce... a lot. makes me pine for the days of yore, especially in tracks like passing away and like starlight.

Gyromania
June 15th 2015


18336 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i've said it before, but this is probably my favourite post rock album/band overall, and i really do like sigur ros. for me, this evokes deeper emotions and i think their sound is generally more varied than most albums in the genre.



i especially like the atmosphere. sometimes i find this type of music best experienced when i'm sort of foggy, like post-dream state, or when really high lol

YakNips
June 15th 2015


17203 Comments


gyro youre really selling this for me rn

Rowan5215
June 15th 2015


31047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A lot of this is about a friend's death so yea I agree with Gyro, has to be the most relaxing death album ever tho

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


14745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, I never knew that, but this is incredibly uplifting for most of the way it genuinely makes me feel happy haha even if it is about a friends death it still does evoke lots of positive emotions which leads me to believe that the band was going for nostalgic memories here.

Rowan5215
June 15th 2015


31047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Explains the depressing song titles as you noted in the review though



Passing Away and the t/t for example I find pretty brutally sad, a lot of the rest is the happy nostalgic glean layered over a feeling of loss/absence

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


14745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow I dont find the title track sad even in the slightest. Guess we all hear different shit when referring to good vibes. Passing Away though, yea. That song kills. My point was though, now that you've brought up death, not everyone is going to know that immediately which is way it could see unfocused at times. It kinda does even knowing it, but it's still brilliant nonetheless.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


14745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just take 3rd Planet by MM for example. Such upbeat and smile inducing song musically but the subject matter is truly awful. Just like the title track here. I find it refreshing and pretty perplexing when artists juxtapose an awful subject matter with uplifting music. Or likewise.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


7687 Comments


Sounds cool, I'll give this a listen.

Digging: Volcanic Queen - Photography Shield

Rowan5215
June 15th 2015


31047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I feel ya Mongi - beautiful music but super sad subject matter creates a hella contrast. Magic Lantern Days from the new mwY has the same effect (jam it)



How goes it Judio?

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2015


14745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As amazing as this is though, Kenotic has become one of my favorite albums. Omg soooooo good. Starlight is this albums Kenotic(t/t)

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2015


7687 Comments


Sup Row. It's all good over here, been doing summer school and working part time at the grocery store so I've been keeping busy. How're things on your end?

twlichty
June 16th 2015


3587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review man, this one definitely has some of hammocks best songs.



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