Hippo Campus
Demos II



by Jack Wilson USER (7 Reviews)
July 11th, 2019 | 3 replies

Release Date: 07/10/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More than likely released on a whim, Hippo Campus' latest collection of recording sessions provides insight into their process on top of 9 very well executed tracks. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.

On the disc for a DVD, there often tends to be some form of "bonus content" containing, bloopers / extras / behind the scenes from the recording of the film. Hippo Campus' latest release "Demos II", like its predecessor "Demos I", is the analogous behind the scenes content from the recording of the band's latest LPs. However unlike the DVD bonus content which is often just a shell of the full thing, "Demos II" provides the listener a wealth of quality.

Accompanying the 9 songs is a tangible insight into Hippo Campus' writing and recording process which gives the album some nice context and some grounding. As such, the demos come with noticeably Lo-Fi production especially when compared to "Bambi" and "landmark". While this may not be for everyone it really does work to the advantage of the album, where songs like No Poms and Cellar Door retain a noisy-yet-playful trait that may not have been present had the album been over-produced. That trait is really important to remember when listening to "Demos II": not once does it try to take it self seriously. You're not listening to a Swans or Phillip Glass record here. Each track is relatively sparse, ditching the electronic drums from some of "Bambi" in favour of a slightly distorted, slightly detuned acoustic kit in tracks like Chapstick and Elephant Boys. The guitars are mainly playing chords with some loose shoegaze-y melodies layered on top and the vocal performance from Luppen is as great as ever. Each element melds so well together to craft some really engaging and insanely catchy tracks that all sound excellent despite the production style and iffy cohesion.

To me, "Demos II" sounds like 4 guys in a room writing music and enjoying themselves. Realistically, what more could you want from a band that released an LP last year, and has been touring since. While not all the results are stellar there is definitely a huge amount of enjoyment to be found from this release, and is a no-brainer if you're already fan of Hippo Campus.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
July 11th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

Short review for a short little release.

Always open to criticism, obviously. I imagine not many people feel the same way as me about this but this is probably my favourite Hippo Campus since "Bashful Creatures". Bambi is a great album, don't get me wrong, but the "SOUTH" and aforementioned other EP had a certain sound and style that I felt was missed on the two LPs. Luckily for me though it feels like they brought it back on this demo album.

July 11th 2019


my friend is super into this band, so I wanna check them out but i keep putting it off. maybe someday. probably when they put out a new album.

Digging: Mac Miller - Circles

Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2019


Thank u for reviewing this, I dug 2 more than 1. Joy was an instant favorite and yeah No Poems is some post punk shit wow

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