Though they’re hardly high-profile, success has already been a major stumbling block for US four-piece Hopewell. Keyboard player and singer Justin Russo and his brother, guitarist and singer Jason, spend their days as touring members of Mercury Rev. After the Rev’s ‘Deserter’s Songs’
took off, the pair embarked on
the huge world tour that followed and Hopewell’s future was put on hold indefinitely.
Now they’ve finally had a chance to complete this second album, the focus is back on Jason and Justin’s first love. Named after the town the pair grew up in, Hopewell have been together in their current form since 1996, releasing their debut album, ‘Contact’, a year later. But this record is all you really need for now. A warped take on psychedelic rock, it’s as doom-laden (see the grand pounding of a church organ in ‘In The Small Places’) as it is mesmerising (recent single ‘Safe As Milk’), as confusing as it is impressive. Somehow, Hopewell fuse the abstract ambition of The Flaming Lips with the epic fragility of Spiritualized and yet make both comparisons redundant.
Looks like Mercury Rev might have a couple of vacancies going next time they tour.