You sure know how to make some odd ball music. The latest entry in my adventures through the musical rabbit hole brought me to a Vancouver-based duo, Hermetic. They’ve been releasing music since 2012 (remember, that was the year the world was supposed to end), and Postscript is their latest foray of “Hard Pop.” So, enough with this intro, let us get down and discuss the good and the bad.
Good: I love how these two cats, (Eric Axen on baritone guitar/lead vocals and Bart Newman on drums/backup vocals), construct songs. Their riffs are catchy; laden with down-tuned guitars and, at times, dripping with an influence that could lead you to Nirvana. My favourite of the bunch is track three, “Working Slob.” It is a short song, one minute flat, that is very Modest Mouse-y at times while still exerting enough force to be catchy. It is a charming song with a great guitar riff.
Bad: speaking of guitar riffs, there are a couple of times the guitar lead falls short. During “Glass,” the guitar riff that bridges the verse together is rife with mistakes. There are times when the fingerings will deaden the string instead of letting the note ring out. If you’re listening for it, it detracts from the song. It is a killer guitar melody that just lacks the finesse to make it perfect.
Good: I love the low-fi sound that Hermetic bring to the table. There is so much going on in their music; I feel that had they gone high-fi, their whole sound would have become muddled. It’s a solid choice to keep the almost undetectable white noise behind the tracks. I equate their production value to that of a tube amplifier. While not the most sophisticated of methods, they both have stellar, simplistic, and natural distortion. Used correctly, it’s quite a tool. Hermetic uses it well.
Bad: the lyrics. Maybe I just don’t get it. Sometimes they rhyme, sometimes they don’t, but it goes beyond that. The themes and built scenes don’t convey the emotion to me. Maybe they’re too predictable and base, or maybe it’s something that’s gone completely over my head. Let me know what you think about their lyrics in the comments below.
I want to end this article on a good note, so, I’d like to point out the structure of the album. As a whole, its flow is succinct; there is never a song out of place. It’s tough to have judgement enough to conjure up an entire album that takes you on a complete journey. Hermetic did an excellent job with that.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Danielle Kenedy