Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Album Review: Hubble - Hubble Drums

I've had my eye on Hubble for a number of months, awaiting with bated breath the release of his debut. The little nibbles I've heard impressed, enthralled, and stoked the embers of anticipation. His fascinating use of multiple guitar lines promised greatness,as well as something completely new and unique. Well the time has come, and Hubble has dropped his first full length recording, Hubble Drums.

Hubble Drums is difficult to describe, despite how shockingly simple it really is. The crux of the album is Ben Greenberg's cosmic warping of the guitar. It's part lo-fi, part psychedelia, and part ambient, but 100% guitar. That's the dominating sound here, as it's the album's only musical instrument. Yet it's not what is being heard, but how you hear it. Hubble Drums is mind-bogglingly complex, but at the same time somewhat simple. Greenberg isn't doing much here, but the sonic warpings create a confounding atmosphere.

For all its complexities, Hubble Drums doesn't really say a whole lot, nor does it actually go anywhere. Greenberg seems to have played a few lines and done all the flair afterwards. At its core, the music is very bland, with dynamics and style being taken completely out of the equation. It's forty minutes separated into three tracks, but you'd be hard pressed to discern the difference between the begining and the end, it's that homogenous. In this respect, Hubble Drums is a disappointment.

It's difficult to call these aspects outright flaws, however, as the spaced out trance nature of the music accomplishes everything it set out to do. These issues will simply be exacerbated or embraced by whomever the listener may be. Some will adore the minimalism, while others may put off by the inherent lack of substance. Despite your stance, it's clear that Hubble Drums wasn't taken nearly far enough. It's as if Greenberg set out to explore the vast expanses of the cosmos, but couldn't overcome the escape velocity to leave orbit.

Although it lacks that visceral punch one would hope, Hubble Drums is still well worth looking into. You haven't heard anything quite like it, and you won't unless you check this out. It may not have much, if any staying power, but for a weird excursion into a fever-dream of guitar manipulation, this ranks pretty high.

Rating: C+


Track List:

1. Hubble's Hubble
2. Nude Ghost
3. Glass Napkin

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