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'Up At LaGrange'   

-  Label: 'Shelflife Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '19th August 2014'-  Catalogue No: 'LIFE110'

Our Rating:
From the opening Into the Night it's clear that this album of space age dream pop from Bradford's The Hobbes Fanclub comes from a band who obviously like Luna, Galaxie 500, Stereolab and Mazzy Star and that's no bad thing at all.

It's a great thing, actually, as there seems to be an urgency about these songs that are all under 4 minutes long so they don't have any long instrumental workouts, just good space-pop songs with plenty of echo and reverb. Stay Gold flies by and Your Doubting Heart is like a Marine Girls love song for the twenty teens.

The Boy From Outer Space opens with some cool feedback that leads into some very echo-laden vocals that nod towards Ride being crossed with Talulah Gosh. It's very cool as it seems this band from Bradford named themselves after Thomas Hobbes, the English Philosopher and Geometric theoretician but their album is no leviathan, more a chilled and spaced out affair to be enveloped in the soaring guitars of I Knew You'd Understand, which echoes around the room drawing us into the world of Hobbes.

So as they Run Into The Sea I have a vision of Hobbes' Mother going into labour at the sound of the Spanish Armada as the guitars come over us in sonic waves of joy rather than the fear that gripped her at the sonic boom of the cannonade as this sounds like The Jesus and Mary Chain have invaded and we will all sing along and enjoy the distorted guitars' gently abrasive caress.

Is I Knew You'd Understand a love song or a musing on the theories of the Italo-French Mathematician the album is named after? His theories have been in the news this year, making it a pretty topical and well spacey affair. As we try to land on that comet this would be the tune that should have been playing as it feels like you touch down at the end of it.

Outside Myself has a nice pulsing sound underneath as they try to get the orbit speed necessary to get to that La Grange point and the sound really revolves round the room. It's a great song. Why Should You Tell The Truth? continues the orbit through space hanging onto that comet as the duet unfolds and as the disembodied vocals float through space the voices are almost echoes.

Meet You Up At LaGrange, the title track, could be about going to meet in a pub but I think it should be about meeting up at a La Grange point in space with the fizzing guitars and roaring echo of the sounds of the universe flying by as the album's flight concludes with Sometimes, wherein they leave this world on this flight of gorgeous cascading guitars off to another solar system. It's hard to believe the song is only 3 minutes 45 as the journey feels much longer than that.

This album will envelop you in its sound. It's very cool and a timeless debut album on its own terms.

Listen to The Hobbes Fanclub at Bandcamp
  author: simonovitch

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