Hello Hello


Party Damage Records, 2015


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Sometimes incredible things originate from very ordinary appearances.

Portland is home to not only an alarming amount of great bands also to a seemingly endless flow of creative ideas, unique monikers, and an artistic quality that just doesn't seem to be replicated anywhere else. Divers, on the other hand, isn’t exactly cultivating new musical ideas, and their name is about as generic as one could get. However, their first album, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Hello Hello, is such an amazing listen. It reminds me of all the best aspects of punk, garage, and classic rock, as well as taking nods from legends of every decade since the '70s.

“Getaway” starts out soft with a bass guitar and segues into loud rock territory with the bouncing “Blood Song.” It sounds like a modern day version of The Clash with a Billy Bragg influence and a memorable chorus, which is likely to remind any fan of punk rock what they first loved about the genre (and will make those who never got into it wish they had).

“Listen, Teller” brings things back to a calmer, almost hypnotic tone before the pulsating “Lacuna,” where infectious guitar work and a kinetic rhythm section will lure in any fan of powerful rock. It's the type of song that inspires others to pick up instruments and make their own music. It is just a perfect anthemic tune that's on pace with today's punk elite like The Menzingers or The Gaslight Anthem.

At this point, the band's formula of soaring tracks into more sparse offerings continues with the quiet “Great Escape.”  It's a whispering, gentle hiatus sandwiched between louder tunes, and leads into another disc highlight, “Tracks.” A solid punk song with an unparalleled amount of melody, grit, and timelessness, this one has my vote for song of the year.

From post-punk to power-pop to classic rock, these Portlandians embody everything you love about Springsteen, Costello, Strummer, Westerberg, and Petty, as well as today's stars like The Hold Steady or Arcade Fire.

If there is a better album that's come out in 2015, I haven't heard it.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2015 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Party Damage Records, and is used for informational purposes only.