24 Nov 2020
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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Hit The # Key

24 Oct 2020 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Little Green Men Harass Kentucky Farm Family”.

A headline that captured the imaginations of a nation, coined the term for extra-terrestrial visitors, and inspiring Pokemon, films, and musicals. It even inspired the name of a band down here in New Zealand, whose album Hit The # Key I found lurking in my yard, and swooping at my family.

It almost shames me to discuss the origins of The Hopkinsville Goblins name. It’s a lazy stab at music journalism. A stalling tactic to gather your thoughts when you’re posed with something unique to the point of being almost indescribable.

Luckily, it’s in vogue to show how clever you are by sharing common knowledge you think you’ve discovered for yourself...  isn’t it? Or is it more in style to share things other people figured out for themselves? I can’t keep up. The kids can keep the modern world. The music was better in the past anyway.   

Speaking of the past, there’s something about Alvis of the Goblins and his little green ensemble’s sonic palette that reminds me of the early 2000’s Palmy rock scene, which at the time was a tribute to the fuzzy rock of the 70's. Specifically, I get vibes of the weird and wonderful experimenter extraordinaire Bing Turkby, albeit with less saxophone. It’s a shimmering mass of unbridled creativity in the shape of fuzzed out guitar and tinny drums, behind a story-telling narrator.

Compared to previous albums though, Hit The # Key feels more like a Hopkinsville Goblins that’s been trapped on earth too long. The space man shtick is all but gone. Alvis has stopped looking to the stars and entered the building. The songs are more like psychedelic punk sojourns through the terrestrial plains, reattempts and sequels of previous tracks, and reflections on our times. Less like sci-fi soundscapes, aural collages, with smatterings of rock n’ roll. The experimental soul we’ve felt since Posts From Planet Earth is still there, but the progression into dissonance is easier to follow and anticipate.

While they’ve always eschewed capitalist tendencies and commercial success, relying on rudimentary recording techniques and noise experiments, this new album is the most accessible, and cleanest of the Goblins releases I’ve consumed. Clean from a production sense that is. It’s still fuzzier than a hipster’s chin and twice as dirty. It's an enjoyable listen. An album that deserves a listen, but is just obscure enough to fly under the radar.

Recommended for people whose houses smell like incense and taste in music hasn’t been sated this century. 5/5 stars.

You can find Hit The # Key here. Also check out Alvis’s ramblings and insights on his Blogspot.

Rating: ( 5 / 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

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