21 Oct 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Pink Orange

10 Jul 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

The elusive and cryptic Hopkinsville Goblins have reportedly been in existence for nearly five years, yet not too terribly much is known about this mythical little group. Lead by principal songwriter Alvin Impulsive, the Goblins (plus Alvin) have moved on to their third full-album release in about as many years. Kookily dubbed Pink Orange, let’s see if this fourteen-track tastes as interesting as the album cover looks, and if it packs as much zing.

Starting with a two-minute long intro consisting of otherworldly static and eerie outer-space fuzz and stretching into the lo-fi folk song Castaways. Following the openers, Yeah, Okay, But begins to set a precedent of laid-back 70’s alternative rock, marked by a sturdy bassline groove, garage-rock aesthetics and vocals reminiscent of Beck or Lou Reed. A guitar solo makes an appearance, albeit a wandering, formless one. Or is just jazz that one doesn’t understand?

By track five, I Need Air, the experimental and psychedelic aspects of the music starts to become hard to overlook. The song title becomes apt as the off-beat drumming becomes increasingly out of time and frantic, when it suddenly cuts to a sudden stop, leaving the listener overwhelmed and, well, needing air. Also, what is up with the static hiss? If it’s intentional then it’s certainly achieved the goal of imposing a sense of claustrophobia and unease!

Make no mistake; throughout the LP, there’s a good number of standout tracks: There’s the dancey-funky, slightly radio-friendly track Sous Chef. Between verses laden with 1970’s dual guitar-shuffles set over an electronic bass drumbeat, there are choruses that shift in tempo with full-blown psychedelia. On top, there’s that ever-prevalent spoken-singing vocal style, hypnotising one with “Sous chef, heatin’ the pan, dicin’ the carrots, slicing the ham”. Even after a handful of listens, I still couldn’t figure out if the song is about kinky intercourse or describing some cocktail of drugs...

For those more into heavier music, be sure to check out It Ain't Metal, But It Is Heavy. The first and only entry that could be classed under “hard rock”, there’s very rigid industrial drumming, and boasts a fantastic combination of punchy bass and stocky guitar riffs. It’s one instrumental piece that promises what the title suggests – Not really heavy metal, but it sure is heavy and pretty metal.

There’s Who’s Tootin’?, a ballad for the metropolitan commuters among us. An ode to irresponsible drivers; some good ol’ traffic jam blues. With popping bass strings and bold strums of a clean electric guitar, this track reminds one of Red Hot Chili Peppers in their youth. The lyrics are probably the least cryptic here; a funky little number that every road-user can relate to.

Closing with Sous Chef Piano Reduction, one anticipates a stripped-back redux of the aforementioned tune, or a quiet rendition of one of the fourth song’s many riffs, but the album conclusion resembles more an instrumental Mike Patton took from an upset Faith No More, added synthesiser “bloops” then shifted the pitch up and down.

The album does feel unnecessarily bloated; some instrumentals are terrific, but there’s a handful of odd tracks like Pineapple Rattail, Soul on Hold or Synaesthesia which sound somewhat directionless and unusual for the sake of being unusual.

For the most part, one feels the album could be slimmed down from a full album to an EP. Unless you’re big on experimental art-rock and appreciate an album’s aural journey through hazy and turbulent passages, then you’ll likely enjoy Pink Orange from end to end.

Like the unusually-coloured citrus which the cover depicts, the album is certainly quirky and carries a range of character. From zany to funky, from laid-back to overloaded and frenetic, the artist/goblin-group have a lot of potential for which they wish to showcase, but the end product occasionally sounds disjointed and the quality wavers. In moments where songs sound focused and don’t stray far into the experimental or become too samples-heavy is where Hopkinsville Goblins succeed. These gold moments create a fun, light-hearted atmosphere and, occasionally, tongue-in-cheek.

Check out the album by streaming it on Spotify, Deezer, iTunes or Apple Music.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About The Hopkinsville Goblins

The Hopkinsville Goblins made their first appearance in rural Kentucky in 1955 and have popped up all over the world ever since. They love people and like to play, but too much contact drains their powers. A close encounter with backwoods songwriter Alvis Impulsive led to the formation of a creative bond that helps them express themselves through the universal language of music. These little guys are interstellar nomads that want to pass their wisdom on to help the human race avoid a bland extinction. And dance while it does it.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Hopkinsville Goblins

Releases

Pink Orange
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Posts From Planet Earth
Year: 2016
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

The Vibes - Album Review: Saucery
07 Oct 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Formerly called 'Brendon Thomas and The Vibes', this rock trio from Auckland consists of Tim on drums, Michael on bass guitar, and Brendon on the six-string. Touted as "a traversal through the psychedelic musical minds of Brendon Thomas, Timothee Nolier and Michael Anderson", the group boldly bring back the best sounds of the 60’s on every release.
Read More...
Scalper - Single Review: Dust
30 Sep 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Nadeem Shafi, better known by his stage name Scalper, has been in and around the United Kingdom and Aotearoa hip-hop circuits for nearly three decades. Having performed under numerous rap groups and continuously releasing solo albums under his own moniker, he has not stopped creating.
Read More...
Strangely Arousing - Single Review: Airplanes
16 Sep 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Ska and reggae specialists Strangely Arousing hail from Rotorua, and the five lads have been making plenty of waves in the Aotearoa music scene over half a dozen years. They won SmokeFree Pacifica Beats in 2013, went on to perform at numerous Raggamuffin and Rhythm & Vines festivals, and even toured South Korea and China.
Read More...
Animalhead - Single Review: Follow Blind feat. Rory Howard
27 Aug 2020 // by Steve Shyu
For those who haven’t yet experienced Animalhead, the three-piece rock act is based in Auckland, and play energetic fusions of punk, rock & roll, with hard-grooves that nod at the likes of Black Sabbath and Audioslave. They’ve released three singles, have earned airplay on major radio stations The Rock and Hauraki, performed live at Muzic.
Read More...
Steve Hutchinson - Single Review: pfmcfnc
16 Jul 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Residing in Nelson, Steve Hutchinson creates rock and heavy metal music as a means of expressing himself, and to leave a mark on Aotearoa’s music scene. Though disabled, this has not deterred Steve from venturing forth and making some noise on guitar.
Read More...
Rei - Album Review: Hoea
14 Jul 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Over the past five years, Rei has worked his way to become arguably Wellington’s new king of Hip-Hop, on top of which he is also one of many in the rising tide of Rap artists writing in both English and Te Reo. Ever since I saw Rei open for Sons of Zion at The Powerstation two years ago, my interests have piqued further every time his name is mentioned on air or shows up billed on a music event.
Read More...
PolarisRadio - Album Review: Deadline
03 Jul 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Dean Moroney, under his stage name PolarisRadio, is on track to becoming Aotearoa’s finest retro-synth music producer. Over the past six years, from his home-base in the Hawke’s Bay, he has released numerous one-off singles and full-length releases, including Virtual Paradise.
Read More...
Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: MMA
11 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
With lockdown officially over, here comes the time to see live some of the music that’s been recorded or released while Aotearoa has been in isolation. Out of the now indefinitely-shelved Wellington band Lucifer Gunne comes Voodoo Bloo, the new project of the musical mastermind Rory McDonald.
Read More...
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • WAP
    Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  • DREAMS
    Fleetwood Mac
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • WHAT YOU KNOW BOUT LOVE
    Pop Smoke
  • PUT YOUR RECORDS ON
    Ritt Momney
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem