Hallelujah the Hills Colonial Drones

Hallelujah the Hills Colonial Drones

When the acoustic guitar introduces "The Might Come Back Club," the second track on this Boston crew's second album, I am faced with the dilemma of whether or not to suppress the obvious but clichéd Neutral Milk Hotel comparison. Obviously expression won out. Ryan Walsh's songwriting isn't as insular as Jeff Mangum's, nor as lit-loving as Colin Meloy's (the Decemberists), but he possesses like-minded skill at articulating the abstract and complex in a truly gutsy way. Likewise his backline, which includes Brian Rutledge on horns and Elio Deluca's keyboards, propel the action with abandon while managing to open gaps for the hooks to march through. And that's where HTH excel ― in not letting the brains turn off the balls of the beast. "Allied Lions," with its shout-along verses and Eric Meyer's drum infarction, is like an Elephant 6 safari ride with faulty breaks. It's a sloppy, exuberant mess and too much fun to miss. (Misra)