STL Roundup | 12.07

qh_hibernauts.jpgThis seven-song EP by St. Louis four-piece The Hibernauts can stand up next to anything on indie rock radio today.




The Hibernauts | Periodic Fable (s/r)

This seven-song EP by St. Louis four-piece The Hibernauts can stand up next to anything on indie rock radio today. Lead single "Sleeping in Space" (all over 89.1 KCLC, and appropriately so) is, hands-down, the catchiest song you’ve heard all year. With its relentless, jagged guitar line and soaring, repetitive chorus—"I hide behind my ivy fortress"—it will get you moving and humming along. "Into the Storm/Out to the Sea" is more Oingo Boingo-influenced, rapid-paced and synth-driven; "Throwing Rice" is another fast-paced indie dream. With its understated, group vocal intro and explosive refrain, disc closer "Scissors" is a keeper; too bad its lyrics (breaking down a game of "Rock-Paper-Scissors" into, essentially, "I always pick rock, you always pick scissors") are so meaningless.

And that, my friends, is the only negative I have on Periodic Fable: lyrically, The Hibernauts are not always at the top of their game. But really, when your feet are having this much fun, who listens to the words? A-

RIYL: Spoon, Mutemath


Watching Judas | s/t (s/r)

This is lovely, shimmering pop-rock by a bunch of St. Louis youngsters. Following the layman’s tunes "More Than a Little Scared" and "Easier Not to Love," Christian rock takes the forefront with "iFall," a tale of a man’s fall from grace and subsequent search for meaning and inspiration. "Wake Up, 7 O’Clock" begins with an unfortunate, contrived fake DJ introducing Watching Judas; following that, though, it’s a well-performed, well-sung toe-tapper. The oddly named "All You Ever Wanted (Polyurethane Gasmasks)" is more nightclub than pulpit, borrowing more than a little from ’80s wave in keyboards and whispered background vocals. The title—and closing—track is a beautiful, piano-driven song that conveys exaltation and exhilaration.

Though there’s nothing strikingly original here, it’s an impressive offering from a young band. I look forward to Watching Judas grow. B-

RIYL: Jars of Clay, Ben Folds, Ed Harcourt


Victoria | Ghostown (s/r)

In an age where being "indie" is akin to being "cool," Victoria makes straight-faced, balls-to-the-wall rock ‘n’ roll. From the get-go, their seven-song debut EP is unapologetically rocking, complete with classic ’50s guitar riffs, full-throated vocals, and relentless beats.

At times, David Moore’s voice almost recalls the singing style of Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra; other times, he’s more like a screamy David Johannsen of The New York Dolls. "Find My Way" is almost as if Jim Morrison were fronting a precision punk band; an odd combination, to be sure, yet Victorial pulls it off. Other scream-fests, such as "Holy Roller Derby," don’t sit as well with me; I can see the appeal, sure; it’s just not my cup of tea.

Still, if you love your classic rock sounds with a dose of today’s cheek (and maybe a bit more chic than Victoria is willing to let on), you could do far worse than to check out this up-and-coming St. Louis trio. B

RIYL: The Doors, The New York Dolls


The Marquette Weekend | Vol. 1 (s/r)

As "Harm" kicks in, the first track on The Marquette Weekend’s sophomore disc, you’ll swear you’ve heard this song on the radio before. And, well, you should. This song’s uber-catchy, filled with guitar hooks, soaring vocals and harmonies. Jimmy Eat World, watch your back. Shotgun track "The Boys Are Back" doesn’t stand up as well—lyrically, it’s just a little more cheese than it needs to be—but "Bad Boy Leroy Brown" bounces back with its full-speed-ahead guitar riffs and rock ‘n’ roll prowess.

Following the lukewarm "The Odyssey," "Mercury" and "Come Back to Memphis," put the boys on familiar territory: pop-punk-rock with swelling harmonies. Even the slow-burning "Euphoria," despite a few missteps, keeps them within this genre. Despite the rock variety contained on this disc, the radio-friendly terrain is where The Marquette Weekend truly excel, and where they should focus their growth and creative juices. B- | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Jimmy Eat World, Def Leppard

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply