21 Oct 2021

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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Mundivagrants

12 Oct 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Mundivagrants is a weird release. Probably one of the strangest I’ve had to review. But then I’ve come to expect nothing less from The Hopkinsville Goblins.

I say weird, but it’s not unlistenable. The audio is crystal clear, aside from the obligatory and intentional fuzz on the guitar. There is even something soothing in the mix of organic found sound, jazz-like jamming, surround-sound tribal toms, and seemingly improvised guitar licks. Occasionally, as if on whim, we leave these ethereal plains and arrive in the realm of psych-rock, if only for a brief sojourn. Then, it’s back to gazing so far into a navel, you’re practically sucked into the vestigial orifice.

Rather, it’s weird in that it lacks any sort of structure or disciple one would normally associate with a traditional album. The tracks are less distinct entities, and seem more like arbitrary slices in one contiguous body. A writhing body of fleeting vibes, intersecting and coalescing.

I recently reviewed their last outing, Hit the # Key, and felt the same level of confusion on first listen. The new album goes in an entirely different direction. It’s less the authorship of an earthbound stargazer, and more an alien’s eye view of our world. A mixing of new age and world music that creates a soundtrack to a gathering at a crop circle awaiting an imminent arrival.

As speechless as I was, it took me a while to realise that Mundivagrants too lacked words. Gone, it seems, are Alvis’s distinctive storytellings. Perhaps it’s a reflection on the artist’s choice to look outward to the now inaccessible world, rather than the world within. Perhaps it was to draw attention to the intersecting layers of sound as the ebb and flow against each other. Perhaps, like some of the Beatles choices while meditating on acid, we’ll never know the real rhyme or reason.

Without a comparison, and the top of the field in what they do, I am suspicious that perhaps these ravings of a madman are actually some kind of fourth dimensional genius I’m not equipped to understand.

A tentative 5 stars out of 5. Regardless of its lack of any commercial or wide spread appeal, this kind of experimentation - these expressions of unbridled creativity - are something to be encouraged.

A warning though: If you were to enjoy it, it would be difficult to find anything remotely similar, save for the band’s discography.

You can find Mundivagrants on Spotify, but I’d prefer you find it on Bandcamp.

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


Hit The # Key
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Pink Orange
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Posts From Planet Earth
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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