Hidden Hospitals - EP 001 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hidden Hospitals

EP 001 (2011)


Hidden Hospitals hail from Chicago, Ill. and they're pretty much an iteration of Sparta. Their sound is influenced also with touches of Thrice in between. There's a hint of Jim Ward behind the mic with the sound and vocal prowess, but of course, the accent sells it out. It doesn't have that mystic and ethereal presence of Ward but it's a good go nonetheless. The guitars and intricate arrangements are eerily akin to Sparta and "Atonement" exemplifies this. It isn't a bad opener to deliver Hospitals' take on a post-rock melodious endeavor as there's a buoyant indie-rock feel with an alternative blend syncopated at times and it's hit or miss. Nothing in between. "One to Ones" also lend an ear to that sleek guitarwork that I think I also heard on Trapt (kind of a gamble considering that band was a fucking travesty!).

Camouflaging such a sound is hard to do and there's a bit of refining I felt could have been done. A harder sound could have been fine-tuned at times, as it declines steeply to a bit of the poppy edge. It isn't terrible a sound but they have more potential than this music. Oddly enough, their most poppy effort in "Controlled Chaos" proves the best song on the EP as it's toned slowly and built on a more contemporary modern-rock feel. "You search a long way to have a reason to stop believing / You're chasing always" is honest and altruistic as it seemed they wanted this more radio-friendly.

Former members of Dameira and Kiss Kiss united for this EP and it's clear their intentions were for that more subtle sound, as heard on "Swan Dive." It's a bit clichéd a sound but here, there's an impressive bassline on top a tune that fumbles about a bit too much. Without getting too analytical, "Poet and Liar" ends the EP on a better note than it started. It's another modern-rock effort and while alternative fans would enjoy this release, they'd clearly see that a bit more hardcore could have been incorporated to throw the balance off a bit and cut loose. It seems the band held back and played it too safe on this record. Not a good move always.