Hailing from Salt Lake City, Hoofless is what one would call a ‘chamber punk’ act. A mixture of orchestral strings and compositions and atmospheric post rock sensibilities. Its a unique mixture for a very unique band that really captures a sound that isn’t so often explored much in the musical world. While one can drop names like Swans, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and others, Hoofless really has a different approach with a much more of a focus on the orchestral pieces which are simply stunning.
A slow and steady pace is how the album starts, a funeral march being led by a steady drum beat. The horns and strings blending together seamlessly to begin the build up the massive wall of sound accompanied by harsh guitars and powerful melodies. There are ups and downs through out the first track, leading you through a roller coaster of crescendos. But that’s just the first track Doubting. The rest of the tracks on the album are their own standalone pieces. Since there’s only 4 different tracks, each of them run for a decent amount of time, letting room for progression and beautiful build-ups that really shakes you to your soul. While the album is mostly an instrumental, there are moments when soft female vocals bleed through, creating for these somber moments. The lyrics are rather abstract, drawing out beautiful imagery that is performed with such grace. And again, on the last track And This Too, Again and Again, though accompanied with male vocals as well.
Much of the beauty of this band lies within the song writing I feel. It really shines through, and they’re able to create really catchy melodies and songs while at the same time building such a massive and beautifully put together piece. What’s also great is while each track can stand alone on its own as a solid piece, they’re able to flow seamlessly into one another. There were moments where I didn’t even notice the transition into the following track, but just had this steady pace and beat through out the whole album that almost gets you hypnotized with its dark beauty. Hoofless is really known more for their live performances, with plenty of them on Bandcamp to listen through. They’ve performed a lot of these songs already live, and hearing it in this final studio form almost feels like the final form of these pieces.
I can’t say I’ve ever really heard an album like this. While it could be easy to list a bunch of bands that they sound ‘similar’ to, it wouldn’t do them any justice. Hoofless really took care to in perfecting their sound and it accumulates to this really beautifully written album. I’ve found my self listening to this on repeat since I’ve got it, along with the rest of their discography. It’s almost therapeutic. Give this release a listen. Hopefully you’ll find it as enchanting as I have.