A new project out of Batavia, Illinois, Hemhora and the Glass Band is made up of Chris Otepka, Steven Mitchell, Dylan Dresch, and Brad Showalter.
Otepka and Mitchell have known each other for years, having played together in the Heligoats and Hungry Mountain, recorded a bunch of albums, and toured in the U.S. and Europe. For Helix Pattern Blues, they brought in Dresch and Showalter. As the Glass Band, they will back up a number of projects by members of the band, including Helix Pattern Blues, a forthcoming Heligoats album, along with others, plus a separate Glass Band release.
The EP embraces six tracks, starting off with “The Last of Them,” an alt-rock tune riding a tottering rhythm of compact, bright colors. During the climax of the tune, the music ramps up to a wall of sound composed of thick guitars. “World on Its Neck” floats on sparkles of light, shimmering hues atop a tight and smoothly pulsing flow of sound. Dreamy vocals infuse the tune with lingering, wistful flavors, as if from a fantasy.
“BMX” features a prog-rock-like melody traveling on a syncopated beat, along with psychedelic, swirling synths and spoken background voices. The feel of the harmonics is new wave/alt-rock combined with dream-pop and the flow of prog-rock.
“The Drive/The Wreck” is reminiscent of The Doors, measured and psychedelic flavors merging with grunge energy when the music mousses up on the chorus. “Boxes (Vices)” opens on dark, wicked colors and emerging tension, as if entering a risky sonic landscape. A resounding groan fills the atmosphere with trembling, resonance.
“Stage Dive” is an upbeat pop-flavored alt-rock tune. A contagious rhythm drives the song forward with potent pulses, as mellow vocal harmonies ride overhead.
With Helix Pattern Blues, Hemhora and the Glass Band provide catchy rhythms and deliciously quirky alt-rock.