Half a decade and a handful of bagged, impressive support slots later, South West alternative rock four-piece Hypophora are finally ready to step shoulder-to-shoulder with the big leagues with the release of their debut album, ‘Douse’.
As the album begins, opening track ‘Mercurial’ flowing seamlessly into ‘Behave’, it’s clear that there’s a high level of musicianship on display with this band. The legato, delay-driven chords and dissonant progressions played by guitarist Karum Cooper hint at some possible jazz influences seeping through, whilst the vocal style from Katie McConnell packs all the power expected from a rock vocalist, bearing similarities to Becca Macintyre of Marmozets.
The instrumentation of ‘Behave’ also follows that of a typical alternative rock song. Lewis Pilcher‘s running bass parts during the verse help to drive the song along before dropping in a guitar riff driven chorus, all held tightly together with an impressive drum performance from James Farmer.
The mid-section of this album is where the band’s progressive The Fall Of Troy influences begin to bleed through. The opening riff and production tonality that ‘Sorcerers’ packs really lends itself to that style, whilst Cooper‘s staccato discord use in ‘Headlines’ is sure to grab the attention of any progressive rock fan.
The versatility of this album is surely something that warrants repeated listens. Each track taking the audience on a different journey and pacing, with tracks like the single ‘Spires’ opening up with a clean, picked, delayed guitar and airy, droning synth before the whole band kicks in, creating a soothing ambient vibe to the introduction of the song.
Hypophora have definitely hit the perfect balance in songwriting between having their unique sound, merging multiple influences, and music that feels and sounds familiar enough for the casual listener to get behind, making this a definite recommendation for any person looking for the next big alternative rock band.