Hospital Bracelet

South Loop Summer

Written by: PP on 13/11/2021 13:56:57

Hospital Bracelet's quirky, mathy "Sober Haha Jk Unless" has garnered over a million plays across diverse online platforms, for a brief moment making them one of the most hyped bands to arise from the scene in a while. This earned them a spot on the Riot Fest billing, but their popularity has been waning since thanks to controversies regarding cancel culture both on behalf of the band and against the band. But such drama set aside, Hospital Bracelet's debut album "South Loop Summer" is an at-times awkward, elsewhere sparkling piece of indie-flavored emo characterized by its introspective lyrics filled with emotional charge.

Whilst comparisons have been made to Modern Baseball, my immediate thoughts went into Pavement given their idiosyncratic guitars on the title track. Together with the aforementioned "Sober Haha Jk Unless", these lighter, more balladic tracks certainly are within the same realm as the indie legends. That said, "Happy Birthday" ups the tempo considerably and dwells on TTNG-style math guitar wizardry during its peak moments, despite the murky lyrics that wish happy birthday only in a sarcastic fashion.

"Feral Rat Anthem" is arguably the centerpiece of the Hospital Bracelet sound. Emotional, high-pitched vocals lead the charge while technical fretwork provides a buzzing background for the brutally honest, razor-sharp lyrics about relationships between people: "You sat there and juggled all of us / But even clowns are good at that and you keep on fucking it up". The song finishes off with Eric Christopher's vocals nearly breaching the scream barrier as the full-on assault on the 'lying cheat' culminates towards the end.

Throughout the record, Hospital Bracelet swings between quiet, somber emo that wouldn't feel out of place on a Dowsing record, and louder, technical barrages like "Sour OG RPG". It is the latter that works best and is the reason why the band continues to garner followers. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, given it appears only Eric Christopher remains in the band based on what I've been able to uncover.


Download: Feral Rat Anthem, Happy Birthday, Sour OG RPG, Sober Haha Jk Unless
For the fans of: Pavement, Modern Baseball, Dads, Dowsing, TTNG
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.01.2021
Counter Intuitive Records

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