Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


4.9
classic

Review

by too stoned nintendo i wish that i coul STAFF
April 8th, 2018 | 144 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: god, my fantasy baseball team sucks

On any one of her record's first plays—each one of them, when you listen for the first time—Frances Quinlan's voice can find a way to cut you in half. No matter how ready you are for it, and no matter how much you have come to expect it, a moment will come where your knee buckles or a cold chill zips up your neck to your thinning hairline. Quinlan's and her compatriot's effective re-constitution of 70's vibes into a constantly-evolving approach to indie folk/rock has always found new ways to make an old sound feel new, interesting, and, most importantly, authentic.

Bark Your Head Off, Dog continues the Hop Along tradition insofar as it is sharp, well-produced indie rock accompanying Quinlan's bold lyrical earnestness. This is the band's hallmark sound, so loyalists can rejoice. What is different this time around, however, are broader and more grandiose instrumentation (read: some dope ass harp!) and something of a... brighter disposition. This is perhaps the poppiest the Philadelphia outfit has ever come across.

This new, sunnier Hop Along is perhaps just a function of Quinlan's telling of different stories—Quinlan remains one of the genre's best storytellers, and Bark Your Head Off, Dog's songs retain that richly textual feel. As a reaction the album as a whole, I might be inclined to believe that this is obscured by comparisons to its predecessor, the similarly excellent Painted Shut, which capably tread on some pretty dark reflections of the everyday. Yet, in the case of this new record, the loftier and more upbeat composition says enough. This album has an attitude all its own.

Consider, for example, the picturesque levity of "Somewhere a Judge" (and particularly its chorus). Consider also, for good measure, the punchy turn-up midway through "Not Abel," where the song's central question—posed amidst dense orchestral layering—is answered with a narrative break ("When you asked me that question, it sounded like a joke…") offered alongside up-tempo riffage. This pep carries over into "The Fox in Motion," another up-tempo offering punctuated with hand claps and driven with a tambourine.

To be clear, these dynamic movements remain subtle, and it's not like Hop Along decided to suddenly write songs that are straight-up happy or anything like that (gross!). The depth and intensity—other hallmarks of Hop Along—of these offerings remain intact. More appropriately, it's like these new songs embrace another side to that intensity, put forth in the name of, and the pursuit of, a perspective not shaped by such strange men. My 'cut down moment' on this album came in the second chorus of "One that Suits Me," a cheerily defeatist reminder that perspective is actually, and unfortunately, everything.




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user ratings (193)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
FreddieDelaney31 (4.5)
If we only circle around, there's no hurry in reaching it...

Haygoody (4.5)
How simple my heart can be...


Comments:Add a Comment 
deathschool
April 8th 2018


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't read; pos











(Great review)

Digging: Rolo Tomassi - Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It

brainmelter
April 8th 2018


5281 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oooo ya

Digging: eastern youth - ?????

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 8th 2018


26034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another 4.9 acad certified classic. Love the review.

Digging: A Perfect Circle - Eat the Elephant

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 8th 2018


5515 Comments


certified

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2018


30984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

thx guys 4.9 felt just right : )

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2018


15942 Comments


Good review acad

rabidfish
April 8th 2018


3107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY AOTY AOTY

Digging: Coil - ANS

ianblxdsoe
April 8th 2018


1825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album sucks agreed

FreddieDelaney31
April 8th 2018


3741 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

What a review damn

Considering giving in and bumping this to a 5 but I did the same thing with TROW and that grew off of me so idk

Digging: Elder Brother - Stay Inside

Danred97
April 8th 2018


1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not sure if it's better than Painted Shut, but this album is so great. The vocals are the catchiest they've ever been while still having that grit that I love from her. The music is so bouncy and anthemic. This is so much fun.

Brostep
Emeritus
April 8th 2018


4338 Comments


acad would you say that "Somewhere a Judge" is putting up pretty decent numbers through his first few games hyuk hyuk hyuk

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2018


30984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

perhaps... grounded into a pretty sweet double play today tho :S

Marehelm
April 9th 2018


479 Comments


Okay, What makes this a 4.9 and not a 5?

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2018


20918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review and wonderful album here...one of my favorites of 2018, easily

Jom
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2018


3065 Comments


I somehow went 7-5 in my first week even though Giancarlo got me a platinum sombrero with his dogshit effort yesterday.

Snake.
April 9th 2018


20568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

let's go yankees!

Digging: Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2018


30984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

at the time of this writing shoehei hadnt taken the mound yet and i was down 6-8



i ended up winning 7-6!!!

Pheromone
April 9th 2018


5623 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That opener is perfect wow



really gd album

Digging: Three Mile Pilot - Chief Assassin To The Sinister

Spluger
April 10th 2018


1894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ugh the way Frances Quinlan sings “In an open field, man is guilty always“ has been stuck in my head since this dropped. Fantastic album. Probably AOTY

Makemebad35
April 10th 2018


860 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Already gave this a few spins. Really digging it.



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