Hooper Crescent: Essential Tremors [Album Review]

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Hooper Crescent
Essential Tremors
Spoilsport Records [2024]


Album Overview: Essential Tremors is the sophomore album from Brunswick, Australia’s Hooper Crescent. It marks a significant progression from their debut, Object Permanence (2020), and showcases their melodic, off-kilter sound through 11 tracks of sonic experimentation and playful songwriting. The album comes off fresh from their polished studio environment and with the assistance of engineer/producer John Lee contributing to its punchy moments that add to its richness.

Musical Style: Hooper Crescent’s musical style on Essential Tremors is a true fusion of art-pop, post-punk, and experimental new-wave. Their sound is marked by wiry rhythms, captivating melodies, and a harmonious blend of propulsive energy and introspective interludes. The integration of heavy synth and drum machine introduces layers of depth and texture to their songs that will consistently have you foot tapping to the beats.

Evolution of Sound: With Essential Tremors, Hooper Crescent sound more focused and complete as they expand on their rhythmic new wave qualities. The album demonstrates a progression from their earlier work, showcasing a more cohesive record through collaboration with producer John Lee (Laura Jean, Lost Animal, The Stroppies). This is where you can tell the band is having fun as it all comes together in the studio but maintains a crisp vibe.

Artists with Similar Fire: Fans of Pylon, Delivery, Devo, Fake Fruit and some early B-52’s may find similarities in Hooper Crescent’s sound. They share a common trait of quick new wave tempo changes, catchy melodies, and a blend of post-punk and experimental elements.

Pivotal Tracks: “Late Night TV” is a supercharged track that highlights Hooper Crescent’s punchy, rhythmic style. “Carnival” demonstrates the band’s knack for creating a post-punk edge through repetition, with satisfying payoffs. “Wrong Direction” bounces along with duel female/male vocals as it showcases the groups guitar skills with its rhythmic riffs.

Lyrical Strength: Hooper Crescent’s lyrics on Essential Tremors are marked by wit, punch, and a sense of unrelenting propulsion. They explore themes of modern life, relationships, and societal observations with clever wordplay and poetic imagery.

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Thomas Wilde

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