Hum
Inlet


4.0
excellent

Review

by turnip90210 USER (83 Reviews)
June 23rd, 2020 | 216 replies


Release Date: 06/23/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best sort of comeback album

Picture this - you're a vaguely alt rock'y band that just had a single do well on the radio. It's time to start working on a follow-up album. Do you lean into your catchier side, fish for hooks and try to get more hits going? Apparently not. You deliver a cohesive work leaning on atmosphere and texture, further exploring your spacey shoegaze side with little regard for earworms, and get dropped for disappointing sales. I have immense respect for Downward is Heavenward, yet the only melody I can recall off-hand from it is the start to "Apollo". The world eventually caught on and Hum's swansong matured into a cult classic. Chino Moreno openly admitted the band's role in Deftones' transformation, and comparing the covers of White Pony and You'd Prefer an Astronaut is quite amusing. Needless to say, were a follow-up to materialise from the sporadically active Hum, expectations for it were sky high. Would the band be able to live up to them?

Yep. Hum took the My Bloody Valentine approach to comeback record releasing, and the occasional mentions of working on new material peppered into their social media feeds since 2016 materialised into a surprise, unannounced album drop out of nowhere. No firm declarations with future release dates to build further tension and expectations, just boom - music. Pretty darn good music, too. Inlet picks up where Downward is Heavenward left off, exploring some new avenues to keep things interesting. The rhythm section has more bite due to a combination of a punchy drum mix and aggressive guitar riffs making use of a register expanded down to B. "The Summoning" opens with a display that wouldn't sound out of place on a stoner doom album. The songs also take longer to explore their ideas, with five of the eight tracks on here longer than anything the band put out during their original tenure. Yet everything is meticulously chiselled and never overstays its welcome. For a practical demonstration, check out the last two or so minutes of "Folding". The rhythm guitar parks itself on a single looped chord as a sparse soundscape is constructed around it. All this on top of trademark Hum traits, mind you. The delicate vocals, floating melodies and ethereal production take the edge off even the most potent riffs, and the meticulously sculpted guitar tones are a masterclass in everything from subtle modulation to saturated fuzz.

Inlet is the best sort of comeback album, organically recapturing the magic of old while building on the foundation and continuing the natural evolution. If you told me this was a lost Hum album from 2001, I would have totally believed you. Perhaps the band didn't feel pressured as the very traits they were revered for were the ones they were fond of exploring, giving the guys confidence to go forth in their desired direction. Just like with Downward is Heavenward, I'm having trouble recalling individual melodies, yet I'm enjoying the album immensely. Hopefully it won't be another two decades for the follow-up!



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user ratings (475)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
_well STAFF (4.2)
Do you feel that atmosphere?...



Comments:Add a Comment 
turnip90210
June 23rd 2020


443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super conservative 4, but I've rushed out 4.5s on some stuff that hasn't aged great.



Funny how one moment I'm chatting on Facebook with a friend, hit refresh, and suddenly there's a new Hum album. I like these sort of surprise releases.

loveisamixtape
June 23rd 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

not gonna read this bc it’s not a 4.5 and your summary feels like a diss

GhostB1rd
June 23rd 2020


7939 Comments


Let him know how you really feel.

loveisamixtape
June 23rd 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i did

Minushuman24
June 23rd 2020


4797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

woah what, this dropped??

GhostB1rd
June 23rd 2020


7939 Comments


You have to be open and honest.

TooManyFriends
June 23rd 2020


3393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pphard

loveisamixtape
June 23rd 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ghost i agree

Wadlez
June 23rd 2020


5009 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Giggity

SmashIsTheWay94
June 23rd 2020


1956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just recently started getting into Astronaut and Downward and had no idea they might release anything new. sounds very nice after one listen

loveisamixtape
June 23rd 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

but no i read the review, u wrote it well, i just find the memorable melodies take to be under-explained and sort of a grift. reads like a conservative 3.5

turnip90210
June 23rd 2020


443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I open the review by bringing up "Stars", and try to use the lack of such immediate hooks as a testament to the band opting to pursue its explorative desires rather than cashing in on mainstream potential. Still, if it didn't come across as such then obviously it didn't work.

rafalafa
June 23rd 2020


226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lo-fi stoner riffs to study to

loveisamixtape
June 23rd 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

no i see what u mean for sure



i think astronaut (stars especially) is what the slight majority of ppl think of hum as, ppl just want the catchy songs. that angle was inevitable



i just think downward style hum is the best for sure and this is like downward + electra

parksungjoon
June 23rd 2020


33736 Comments


don't you hate it when someone else enjoys something you like, but not as much as you?

disgusting

where's a firing squad when you need it

Digging: Morgoth - Feel Sorry for the Fanatic

loveisamixtape
June 23rd 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oooh drag me daddy

icatchthirtythree
June 24th 2020


1030 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hum rips, album fuckin rips, today is a great day!

oltnabrick
June 24th 2020


40282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so good, love it

Digging: Limp Bizkit - Gold Cobra

Flashmobba
June 24th 2020


1549 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

goddammn this is somethin else

icatchthirtythree
June 24th 2020


1030 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I seriously couldn't have imagined a better comeback after 22 years



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