Eric Kohlenstein aka Another Hospital is a seventeen-year-old musician who is displaying some potential on his recent four-song release The EP For Other People's Birthdays. He plays all the instruments, wrote the songs and I was impressed by the results. On top of that Kohlenstein is crafting a unique indie rock niche.
Kohlenstein songs are on the longer side with two that eclipse the seven-minute mark. The songs are worthy of the time as he implements a good amount of changes. Kohlenstein also has a knack for lyrics. He avoids cliches and I have to admit considering his age this is somewhat rare.
He opens with “Standing Is Hard.” At the very beginning it’s drum and bass and for a second I was reminded of the song “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Those thoughts were quickly relinquished as the song progressed. The guitar is clean with some reverb as he sings, “There's a fear in the breeze like a sinking ship / That meant to dock an hour ago but thought about it too late / But it can drown with the best of ‘em.” It’s a dynamic song with a breakdown as well as more intense sections. He does a good job building the song up and more or less rocking out during the last thirty seconds.
He follows the opener with “Edges” which has a fade in. Once the song gets around to the forty- second mark Kohlenstein breaks into one of the best riffs on the EP. Bass and guitar play compete for notes. This is the song I was starting to notice some resemblance to Interpol. I’d say Kohlenstein has a similar inflection to Paul Banks. That being said Kohlenstein’s music is more atmospheric but even there I could hear some Interpol.
Take for instance “Lake Michigan.” This song is sparse with clean guitar and despite the drums often feels ambient as if the sounds are surrounding you. He closes with “The Jester” which is the most ambitious song of the four. There are some inventive sounds as well as transitions on this sprawling track.
I’d be willing to bet Kohlenstein is nowhere near his potential. The EP For Other People's Birthdays is far from perfect but this is a great way to start a journey into music.
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