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Saturday, May 30

Adam's Pick of the Week: Hop Along - Painted Shut!

In one line, Frances Quinlan's voice can swing from a tender almost-whisper to a menacing growl, and in one song, well, she's all over the place. Quinlan's singing and songwriting (especially her singing) has always been the centerpiece of Hop Along's sound, from her earlier, more folky songs, to Get Disowned, the album that placed Hop Along firmly in the forefront of the burgeoning "pop punk" revival with bands like Caves and Swearin'. That tag can be damning, as most people think of the more juvenile NOFX or Blink 182, but whatever you want to call it, Hop Along is very, very good at it, and they've only gotten better on Painted Shut.

Every song here sounds like it's being poured out rather than played. Repeated phrases that build into emotional eruptions, with anchored rhythms, and sometimes chaotic mingling of guitars, this album really finds a groove in unexpected places. It can be off-putting at first when you realize the fervency that Hop Along gives to sometimes mundane situations, like a waitress waiting for her tables to clear at the end of the night, but ultimately that's what makes it even more impressive. This is one of the most unique albums in recent memory, especially for being as accessible as it is. Buy it now and leave a spot near the top of your Best of 2015 list - you won't be the only one!

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