Dark Hip Falls brings us purity and ambition in both their sound and recording methods. The band hails from Seattle, Washington and the five members collectively decided to record their album Seventy Four with analog technology, rather than through digital formats. This meant the band recorded segments live together because physically splicing various segments into a tape is virtually impossible and painstaking.
Listening to the album, you can feel the dawn creeping over the horizon of a dim and dusky evening that was perhaps wasted from whiskey and cocaine. The band seems to dwell on things that well up darkness and desperation yet at the same time a glimmer of hope shines through as music always lends a positive clarity. The song “Cocaine Design” starts off with a strumming that reminds me of bands like She Wants Revenge and Interpol. Percussion keeps the time on this track as the lyrics sing “cocaine design, mascara lies … maybe just another drink.” The chorus has a softness to it yet it is tinged with sadness and illustrates a hangover of missed communications.
The track “In My Eye” has a sickly mad vibe to it and would be a perfect soundtrack to an S&M film. The repetition of the lyrics “you won’t be saved” and the choice of eerie effects makes you fall deep into the rabbit hole while listening. A deep bass that meticulously keeps the beat sounds like the oncoming of an ominous army that are approaching quickly to take their reign. “Look at the little little thing, sleeping at your breast, know that he’s in my eye.” If that didn't set the vibe, the line "Swim with the fishes baby, I’ll make you float," surely will.
Dark Hip Falls should be commended on their style and their method of delivery. Many musicians rarely take the route of analog recording because of its discrepancies yet the end result is truly worth the trouble. The album sounds crisp and clean yet there is a depth and a lively dynamic to the sound as it is birthed from live sessions. The only thing to mention is at times the vocals get a bit muddled and distorted, yet this at the same time stays true to a live show.
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