CD Hope St. (CD 6955698),
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Hope St.


  • 1. Stray Cat
    2. That Old Song
    3. I Don't Know
    4. Waking Up Sideways
    5. Lost, The
    6. Take Another Ride
    7. Oh My God
    8. Revenge, La
    9. Traveller, The
    10. Hope St.
    11. Secret Tells a Lie
    12. Betrayal, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2737800

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    Not to be confused with the controversial American battle rapper, hirsute Scottish four-piece Kassidy are the latest act to emerge from the thriving nu-folk scene which is slowly but surely taking over the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. While Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale's rousing sound remains quintessentially British, the pre-groomed Kings of Leon lookalikes' four-part harmonies and unplugged production have more in common with the autumnal Baroque pop of Seattle's Fleet Foxes and the classic Americana of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, as evident on their debut album, Hope St. Named after the Glasgow road where two of its members used to hand out free newspapers, its sun-drenched melodies and Wild West-influenced acoustics are indeed a world away from the ramshackle indie (the Fratellis) and doom-laden alt-rock (Glasvegas) of the city's other recent musical exports. "I Don't Know" is a bluesy barroom stomper reminiscent of early Bob Dylan and featuring glorious handclaps and gospel-chanting middle-eight, "That Old Song" is a convincing attempt at a shuffling Johnny Cash-esque country number which could have come straight from the fields of Tennessee, while "The Lost" is a furiously strummed hoedown which fuses Beach Boys harmonies with the psychedelic folk-rock of the Grateful Dead. The likes of the Lynryd Skynyrd-esque swaggering Southern rock of closing track "The Betrayal" and the Byrds-inspired "Take Another Ride" continue the vintage vibes. But even though it won't win any awards for originality, Hope St. is much stronger when wearing its influences firmly on its sleeve; when producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian) attempts to inject something a little more 21st century into the proceedings, the album loses its sense of cohesiveness. The chiming guitars, Hammond organs, and anthemic everyman chorus of "Waking Up Sideways," a rare venture into epic Coldplay ballad territory; opening track "Stray Cat," which recalls the glossy cocktail bar funk of forgotten '80s duo Hue & Cry, and "The Traveller," which begins as a gently lilting acoustic number before ending in a mountain of distorted metal-lite guitars, are all competent, crowd-pleasing efforts, but sound like they've wandered in from another album altogether. Hope St. certainly won't be the most fashionable or credible album of 2011, but it's a consistently strong collection of old-school tunes which will provide the ideal soundtrack for any road trip, whether it's to California or to Cowdenbeath. ~ Jon O'Brien

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