Hop Along - Get Disowned (Cover Artwork)

Hop Along

Get Disowned (2012)

Hot Green Records

This album came as a complete and total surprise to me. Having never heard of them prior to a friend's constant raving that this is the best album of the past 10 years, I decided that I should give Get Disowned a spin. While I can't say that this is the best album of the past 10 years, it certainly is the best thing that I have heard in 2012, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it ended up topping my end of the year list.

Singer Frances Quinlan has one of the most unique voices I've ever heard. Her voice is one part Laura Stevenson, one part Katie Crutchfield and one part Steve Ciolek of the Sidekicks. She goes from a breathy whisper to all out raspy yelps in mere seconds. No other female vocalist in the indie scene can touch her right now. Her voice can sound pretty ugly at first, but once your ears have adjusted, you can really hear just how beautiful it really sounds.

Musically, the band mixes fuzzed out, angular, indie jams with underlying acoustic guitars, and little spits of avante garde noise ("Kids On The Boardwalk" is a great example). While they have a sound of their own, it's familiar enough to remind you of other bands (but for the life of me, I cannot tell you what bands they remind me of music.)

The hooks in this record are un-fucking-deniable. While many of the songs are very linear and don't contain a chorus, there are parts that will be stuck in your head for days on end. "Laments" has one of the best hooks I've ever heard, when Frances starts crooning "The one on the left said to the on on the right / 'I could make a very good wife for you.'" It's a part that's so catchy that it would make me angry that they didn't repeat it a thousand times, if weren't for the fact that the song and rest of the album continue to pump out brilliant pop hooks. From the opening lines until the album ends in Quinlan once again going from a near scream to a whisper, you are enthralled by every single moment.

Lyrically, this album is above most albums that I've heard in the past five years, with lines like "No Good Al Joad"'s "You are my favorite because you're a long shot" standing out. Maybe my favorite line in the whole album is from "Diamond Mine," "Flash me your Rottweiler smile." It just brings forth such great imagery.

Literally every single song on this album is brilliant. I haven't fallen so in love with an album since Mixtapes dropped Maps in 2010. Get Disowned is probably the best album that will be released this year. If something tops it, I will be amazed. Do yourself a favor and stream it for free at their bandcamp.