Bourbon Therapy is a group that has been around a little longer than a-year-and-a-half. Somehow and someway they have already released two albums. Most bands are still writing and getting comfortable with each other at that point. Their latest is entitled Hymnals and Hangovers and contains twelve songs.
Apparently the album is written in four sub-chapters. Each sub-chapter opens with a "hangover" (a song focusing on the darker side and a bit heavier) and ends with a "hymnal" (a bit of a more melodic, lighter tune). In all honesty I never would have figured this out if I didn't read about it. The album plays like most other albums with an ebb and flow. Softer song, heavy rocking song, etc.
Bourbon Therapy may have a lot instrumentation with multiple singers but the music felt pretty straightforward to me. Don’t get me wrong there is a good amount of diversity but the songwriting and arrangements didn’t contain many surprises.
Up first is “Nomad.” The song comes out of the gates and I can see why they picked it as the opener. It’s a well written alt-rock song. No more no less. It’s catchy with a lot of energy and just rocks out. The chapters they talk about play out with “Get By” and “Thought Rain.” It was also here that I noticed this band likes to try and go into epic, grand territory. “Get By” goes for epic proportions but “Through Rain” is epically thematic. There is a pretty big chasm between the grounded rock band they introduce “Nomad” and the more ethereal “Through Rain.”
“Through Rain” is a bit draining emotionally. Thankfully the chapter starts over with “Dark & Happy” which is a lighter affair that has a number of inspired moments. In fact this was one of my favorites on the album. “Say Hello Say Goodbye” is another solid tune. “Untethered” is a little more experimental than “Through Rain.” I enjoyed the juxtaposition between the frantic drums and vocals. After a couple more solid efforts we arrive at the closer “5 Year Song.” The band goes as epic as possible on this song. After the three-minute mark the band rides a crescendo that doesn't end until mountains fall and rivers divide. Once it finally breaks remnants of the aftermath linger on in the form of fluctuations and oscillation. It sounded a bit like the end of “Karma Police.”
Overall, this album has a good amount of diversity. Even though the album could have been a bit more cohesive I thought the band did a good job of delivering the songs. The band put a lot of emotion into Hymnals and Hangovers and it comes across in the music.
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