Album Review: The Hideout – “There’s Nothing. I’m Closing My Eyes”

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Massachusetts based pop punkers The Hideout drop an album rich with melodic pop punk melodies, clamorous guitars and a clear objective to provide the narrative for everything life throws at us. This is an album shaped by the hard won battles of life that addresses the hopes, fears and disappointments we all share. All delivered with a sense of fun that keeps the blood pumping and the feet moving.

Opener “Midnight society” sees the band click into fifth gear from the outset. The pacy, distorted power chords and ringing clean riff may be familiar but provide proof that this is a band who recognize how to write a tight, pop-punk tune. “Everyone Sucks” displays the same nous for melody but ups the ante further with a rousing chorus that stands as one of the best of recent years. It’s the kind of song Blink used to knock out for fun. It serves as the perfect rallying cry for anyone done over or stepped on who is looking for the motivation to stand up for themselves. “Numbskull” is a bruising rocker with a more hardcore edge, as the band slam their instruments with all the power and fury they can muster. What the band don’t do is throwaway with many of the songs sincerely addressing weightier issues. “More Yesterdays, Less Tomorrows” and “Death Dealer” act as the emotional ballast to the album, giving it depth and substance. World weary lines such as “Feels like I’m holding a ghost in it’s shell and “I’m fighting to stay present” are delivered with thought provoking poignancy recalling the power and passion of The Wonder Years.

Understanding of dynamics and how to manage tempo is evident on “Trash Panda”. It starts at a slower pace with ringing, single picked notes before igniting into a fierce punk tune with fire in it’s belly, like a predator stalking its prey before going in for the kill. It’s reminiscent of early The Menzingers and would sit perfectly on Chamberlain Waits. “Birds, Ball & Chain ramps up the ‘woah woahs’ and sees some clever vocal interplay. “Forget It” rides deep into a storm of choppy guitar while “Ghost Stories” features a riff that kicks like a horse bursting with the power and intensity  of a band as unpredictable and exciting as Knuckle Puck. The album finishes with “Coppertooth”, a song primed and ready to take the pit down. It’s the kind of song that takes all those worries about the bills that are mounting up, that relationship that’s fizzling out or that asshole boss that’s giving you a hard time, wraps them into a tight ball and tosses them over the side of a building. All that matters is the relationship between the listener and the words being howled until the throat goes hoarse.

“There’s Nothing. I’m Closing My Eyes” is pure undiluted pop punk. Uncut and unfettered, it’s raw, unpredictable and bursting with humanity. With a keen understanding of dynamics the band know when to hold back before going for the jugular with a chorus ready to superglue itself to your soul. It’s the perfect album for anyone trying to figure out their place in this complicated and confusing world in which we live………….. and then decide it doesn’t really matter anyway.

4/5 Stars


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