The Hush Sound - So Sudden. [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Hush Sound

So Sudden. [reissue] (2005)

Fueled by Ramen / Decaydence

Fueled by Ramen are one of the most diverse labels around in the underground music scene today. Hahaha oh man, almost with a straight face. Almost.

Hosts of a multitude of bands with angular haircuts and worse lyrics...and Gym Class Heroes, FBR are if nothing else consistent with their output. Consistently bad, but hey, it's something. The Hush Sound fall perfectly into the template set by every other pop-rock band on the roster, putting a lot of effort into melody, but not so much into really crafting the songs behind them.

So Sudden starts off well intentioned enough, with some quirky Old Western-esque piano keystrokes, which quickly gives way to just being a standard pop-rock track accompanied by the underlying melody of the piano, which really only gets the time to breathe when the vocals of Bob Morris aren't present. Not to detract from Morris, he's got a pleasant and strong enough voice to give each song a chance to be something special, and a few times, he meets with great success. That opening track, "City Traffic Puzzle," despite the underuse of the piano, ends up being a terrific track with some quick chord progressions that add some depth and variety. The songs are not always quite so engaging, however. The problems arise when Greta Salpeter, who also handles some piano and guitar duties, starts to sing.

It's not that she has a bad voice, quite the opposite actually, as it's gorgeous, but the songs she handles the majority of vocal duties for are just downright boring. Lazy riffs, lazy bass and drum work, they're just complete filler thrown on the record, I'm guessing to add some diversity. Had they left the same formula found in the first track, opting for instrumental variety rather than vocal, things would be fine, but the fact remains that the songs on which she sings fall flat. They do also change things up with different tempos, and letting the piano hold a more prominent role, though still understated. But for the rest of the album, they're simply not able to recapture the fun and enjoyability factor that the quirky first track demonstrated.

So in effect, what's left is a hollow shell of what could have been a good pop-rock record. There's interesting and enjoyable elements in place, but the band really needs to step back and look at the big picture, and get to concentrating less on multi-layered harmonies and cheesy lyrics, and more on just writing good, solid songs.