After getting jumped, having his tour van stolen and smashed, and confronting creative battles that led to the departure of four friends, it would only seem natural if Greg Bertens sought out a remote closet in which to sulk the days away. But Bertens has done exactly the opposite. The now well-known melees that followed their first headlining tour in the States after opening for the Roger Sisters and the National in the United Kingdom have clearly been the catalyst Film School has been waiting for.
The band’s shoegaze-pop has notably matured since it released its self-titled album in January, its first for Beggars Banquet, a work that earned accolades but also was criticized for a Bertens’s lack of vocal experimentation and the irregularity of the material. Hideout proves itself different: The versatility and innumerable layers of vocals and instrumentals are stacked atop each other with such force as to render the work otherworldly, with a fraternization of sound that retains an insatiable breadth of emotion.
The most evident drawback of the album, as with the debut, is its inability to define a true Film School sound that does not require an endless deconstruction against the band’s influences (notably Northern Ireland’s Snow Patrol) and cameos (including vocals from Snow Patrol’s bassist, Paul Wilson). The majority of the lyrics here are simple and repetitious, but the melodies are catchy. The band members are clearly ready to take some real risks, and this album is their ladder out of Plato’s cave.
Band site: http://www.filmschoolmusic.com
Label site: http://www.beggarsgroupusa.com