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Summer Hymns
Backward Masks
Misra Records

To describe the majority of this album, let's imagine it's Saturday afternoon and you're bored as hell sitting on your mom's couch, the one with the plastic cover, and watching the crap they call quality programming on TV, while wearing nothing but boxers and a wifebeater. You're sitting there watching this pitiful excuse for a Saturday afternoon movie from 1972 and it's playing background music while some bellbottom-exhibiting hippie is walking through a park, with a brooding, pensive expression on their face, etc. So anyway, this band sounds like that style of laid back, summerish, feel good music found on such gems as that sweet movie from 1972. Now, although the movie was god awful, that is no reflection on the quality of this album which happens to be quite good.

To describe it in a more modern sense, I would have to say it sounds like The Shins and The Flaming Lips had a play date in Athens, GA and the result was Summer Hymns. Backward Masks is the sixth album by Summer Hymns and you can definitely tell these guys have some serious indie experience under their belts. The band is made up of songwriter Zachary Gresham and joining him are Philip Brown and Chris Riser.

The name of the band is quite appropriate because it masters the feel and emotions which can come with summer, including the warmth, and carefree attitude that summer can bring. The only complaint I have with the album is that many of the songs seem to blend into the others, making it seem like there is not much depth. Luckily, the track "Limousine" breaks completely free of the carefree style of the previous tracks and really shows that this band is not a one-trick-pony. The expert mixing of the many layers on this track with the great beats makes it my favorite on the album. Most of the tracks on this album are surprisingly simple, yet contain more complex undertones which will let you, the listener, come away with as much - or as little - as you may want.

All in all, if you are a fan of good indie music, these guys are a must for your personal collection. So why don't you peel yourself off your mom's plastic couch cover and get down to your local record store and check Summer Hymns out. You won't regret it!

-Liger Woods

Track Listing:
1. Way You Walk
2. Pity and Envy
3. Start Swimming
4. Darkness Comes
5. Fearanoia
6. Bombay Brown India Ink
7. Limousine
8. New Way
9. Ice Age World
10. 14 Inches of Snow
11. Pheromones Induced
12. When the Bombs Fall

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