No Monument (Snappy Little Numbers)
A lot of times, bands have a knack for never quite making it to their sophomore albums. And that’s especially true for musicians with full time jobs and families. Still, Hooper — unequivocal adults, all three members — somehow found time to write, record, and release a follow-up to its first, How to Become a Ghost. The record, No Monument, showcases the band’s proficiency for writing punkish rock songs full of hooks and melody without venturing anywhere near the pop punk genre. It would be like stacking Weezer’s debut record on top of a copy of American Steel’s Jagged Thoughts and then melting them (assuming the resulting mess of vinyl would somehow maintain traits from each group and still play on a record player; but I digress). Side A kicks off with “Red Shift (and the Irish Goodbye),” a bittersweet ditty with singer/guitarist Trevor McMorris singing, “The beat gets worse from all your hunting, when you wear down the ground pursuing your prize. When you feel you have so much to give, so you take, take, take.” The song “Unfinished Basements” takes a musically catchy and lyrically biting point of view on revisiting roots. And “Anyone Vs. the Harlem Globetrotters” — the only one fronted by bassist Mike Taylor — is a tuneful, melodic number that’s one of the highlights of the second side. No Monument expounds upon the sonic capacity of Hooper’s first release as it captures its members at the apex of their songwriting prowess.
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