New York Knitting Factory

Sublime, stabbing psychedelia.

Sublime, stabbing psychedelia. Guitars that drone, drums that flutter. A strict all-black dress code. If Hopewell's defining characteristics sound familiar, there's a very good reason. Lead by Mercury Rev's Jason and Justin Russo, Hopewell adhere pretty closely to the Rev's musical philosophy.

Essentially, they're a perfect hybrid of Mercury Rev's swollen-hearted sentiment and The Flaming Lips' light-hearted playfulness. There are moments of extreme grandiosity, crushing and immense, with billowing crescendos and flattening layers of feedback. But they are buffered by a sweet, off-kilter romanticism. Hopewell have located the spot where the personal and universal intersect, rendering each moment both introspective and transcendental - even the very long wig-out guitar finale.

Afterwards, Jason resolutely lights a cigarette just as a Tannoy announcement is being made that there is no smoking permitted on the premises. It's a tiny gesture of rebellion, a mute nod to individualism. He looks pleased with his efforts, and that so many people came to see him play. Hopewell may never achieve the monumental poignancy of 'Deserter's Songs', nor dedicate themselves to an experimental tour de force like 'The Soft Bulletin', but they'll be out there, toiling in the shadows of greater things, weaving their own very special kind of magic.

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