This band is pretty interesting. If I'm not mistaken, on a few releases they have a full band, but on a few it's just the main singer/songwriter/guitar player. In Nothin' In My Eyes, it's just him. This gives the band plenty of different sounds to go through, which they do. And their output of stuff is pretty impressive.
I'm a big fan of when someone can pull off all the recording and instruments by themselves. None of this stuff is incredibly difficult, but it sounds very full, and you might not even notice it's only one guy. I got the cassette version of this to review, and it sounds awesome on cassette if you're into low-fi stuff. It actually sounds like you're listening to an album recorded in the 50s or 60s, and the cassette gives it a little extra noise but warmth too. As a reviewer, I guess I should put a genre tag on this but I'm not quite sure what to call this. The main contributor Sam describes it as "lonely dude pop," so we'll just go with that.
Despite this being a very pop-oriented act, some of these songs come off as actually kind of dark and melancholy which I enjoyed. Right off the bat you'll notice the simple-yet-effective approach he takes. The first song is completely driven off of one catchy riff, there aren't even chords played in "This Is Not Happening." He doubles his vocals throughout the song-which are extremely high-pitched. That might take some getting used to, but I think it helps gives the music a unique sound. Sometimes you can tell there's some mistakes in the vocals at points, but the 'record everything in one take' attitude is present, so it actually helps in this situation.
"Hearts Apart" was one of my favorite tracks on the album. The vocal melody was one of the catchiest on the record, and the upbeat chord progression layered with a simple clean electric guitar line should grab any listener's ear. There's a level of cheese and sappiness in the lyrics that I'm not used to recording hardcore music and the like, but there's still some dark lines like "There's a trigger in the back of my head/it goes off every time you walk by."
"City Lights" could have been a memorable song, but for me fell flat because the (what sounds to me like a) harmonica and the guitar/bass weren't in tune together. It made the whole song sound dissonant and almost out of key. "The Truth Is Out There (Pts I & II)" is the most upbeat track. I really enjoyed the added horns (technically, I'm pretty sure they were done on a keyboard) which help fill out the sound. The second part of the track sees the band in natural form as far as the other songs on this record go, very simplistic and stripped down.
There are also two covers here, both of which I'm unfamiliar with but sounded like his own songs. "Incept Date" finishes off the 12 songs with vocal harmonies and ends with the line "Have you ever felt like you're falling in love with something in this stupid world?"
I've never felt so unprepared to review an album before on here, so hopefully you can get an ok taste of what you're in store for with this band. They have a ton of material, in both incarnations of the band, up for free download. Check it out and see what they sound like for yourself. There's a lot of memorable moments on here, and Radiator Hospital proves that sometimes less is more. The simplistic, low-fi vibe it has gives it its charm, and this is prominent throughout.
Genre: Indie Rock / Metalcore
Label: Lafayette Recs
Site: Related Link
Similar: Honestly, I have no idea.
- This Is Not Happening
- Hearts Apart
- One Breath
- The Field Where I Died
- Nostalgic For Nothing
- City Lights
- The Truth Is Out There (Pts I & II)
- Fearful Symmetry
- Pine Island '84
- Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"
- My Place
- Incept Date