Hammock
Love in the Void


3.8
excellent

Review

by Ben STAFF
February 2nd, 2023 | 65 replies


Release Date: 01/27/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: [a conversation] in the Void

Hi there how are you this is Sunny and Jesp [and Asleep, hiding in angular parentheses] coming at you live from the less-than-sunny pastures of the places in which we live, with - as we’re sure you’ll be glad to hear - some good news [dun dun daaah]: Hammock are finally embracing colour once again [yay]. The duo’s early to mid-era stretch of releases is one of the finest in recent music history, blending post-rock, ambient, and shoegaze into a stunningly beautiful and potent cocktail. However, the band’s last four records in as many years saw them focusing almost exclusively on intricate [and, let’s be honest, occasionally kinda depressing] ambient - projects that, while good, did not exactly live up to the bristling grandiosity of their best material. Thankfully, Love in the Void marks a return to a more energetic Hammock [post-rock LIVES, huzzah(!), etc.]: created as a post-pandemic celebration of sorts, the album features collaborations with an array of producers and musicians and tunes back into a more rock-oriented sound.

This certainly isn’t to say that Hammock’s latest full-length represents something truly new in the band’s storied career. On the contrary, it recalls and riffs off of the style of earlier efforts quite well, summoning back the way 2016’s Everything And Nothing beautifully combined these three aforementioned genres into an expansive, unified opus. As such, the two main takeaways from Love In The Void are that, firstly, Hammock can still execute sublimely when they go back to the well of their old formula, and, secondly, that they still have the skill [read: magic sauce] required to make a long album flow seamlessly. While chunky records can be risky, attention spans being what they are these days, it’s shocking how sublimely silkily the seventy-two [72! fuck me.] minute runtime glides by here.

A primary reason for this buttery smoothness is Hammock’s remarkable talent for crafting truly lush melodies. It doesn’t take long for evidence of this to emerge: the early album duet of the title track’s soaring post-rock and the emotion-laden “UnTruth” make a strong case. The rich but restrained “Gods Becoming Memories”, the catchy “Undoing”, and the gently grooving “Absorbed In Light” prove to be later highlights, but every track is plain and simply good [low-calorie sparkles, innit?]. In normal Hammock fashion, one could easily complain that each song sounds, more or less, the same [because, erm, they do lol], but the formula at play is as gorgeous as it ever was, achieving wonderfully ethereal textures few artists can match.

[Can I just interject] no Asleep shush [well I’m going to] well damn. [Hi hello so you should go listen to “I Would Stare into the Sun with You Forever”, like, right now, GO, do it, yes, you, the reader, go, NOW!] Oh god he has a gun. [I had a fucking spiritual awakening and/or ruptured my spleen listening to the things about the yellow ball in the sky jesus christ what a banger somebody pls hold me] are you okay [probably not but hush now where was i -- oh yes the rest of the album is, ig, quite good, though Jesp/Sunny’s kinder words do be rather convincing, hmm, maybe listen to them not me k thanks bye] oh thank god he's fallen asleep [heh] again.

Ahem. Right. Okay. So. As we were saying: Hammock are back! Love in the Void may not be their best album, nor their most innovative, but it is wonderful to hear the duo being bold in their undeniable prettiness again. Through a recontextualising of their staple sound within their now more eclectic body of work - and, in the process, drawing from their recent explorative excursions as appropriate - they’ve crafted a return to roots that somehow feels fresh, vibrant and new. As such, if you’ve recently given Hammock a hard pass, now is a better time than ever to reconnect.

--JesperL, Sunnyvale and AsleepInTheBack--



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sunny and Jesp did all the work, I just collect the scalps. thank you lovelies good to work with you.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


5975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Team effort for the win!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


5508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hell yesss

also do not undersell your contributions slepboi, couldn't have done it without you < 3

Prancer
February 2nd 2023


1619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cute review. I've been returning to this more than I thought I would since I first heard it. I haven't listened to any of the group's recent stuff to know what the changes in sound were, but this sounds just as good as their past work

Mongi123
February 2nd 2023


22036 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Release and It’s In This Lie are career best songs. as someone with confirmed autism now, I now realize who this band is for: people like me 😊 I adore this band so much.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


60896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

QUESTION can i listen to this album

budgie
February 2nd 2023


36392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

jonny of the hammoke

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


60896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

budgi is this that band u like

DarkNoctus
February 2nd 2023


12213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

idk i feel this is a sound they kinda outgrew... i loved the more subtle, less-is-more approach of their last four records.

budgie
February 2nd 2023


36392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ooh if it sounds like the sound they "outgrew" im actually excvited

TalonsOfFire
Emeritus
February 2nd 2023


20969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd give the same rating as the review did. Liked a lot, they finally sound invigorated. For sure their best since E&N.

Zac124
February 2nd 2023


2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Typically not a fan of ambient albums but the albums I have heard from this band are really solid. Some really great soundscapes on here too.

Mongi123
February 2nd 2023


22036 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Theyre the best at what they do is this genre 😋

Zac124
February 2nd 2023


2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think this is quite as good as Everything and Nothing but it is close. I think I need to listen to their other albums.

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


4982 Comments


Very much like their earlier work, gonna check dis

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2023


60896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is pretty and sometimes pretty good. competent sophouse rock

budgie
February 2nd 2023


36392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i heard couple tracks and feel meh

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2023


6200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some great tracks on this album

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2023


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It is distinctly quite good. The title track played through decent speakers is absurdly lovely.

Project
February 3rd 2023


5841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's OK to be Afraid of the Universe and Release should have been one track, because combined they'd be S-tier Hammock



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