Beginning with crashing cymbals, rapid drumbursts, soaring vocals, and an almost indiscernible hook, “It’s Been You,” the first song on Hillcrest Road‘s new album, “Life After Liftoff,” might make you think you’re back in the days of ‘90s alt-rock (think: Live, Soul Asylum, etc.). Indeed, the album owes a great debt to that genre, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Eschewing the typically moody blues of modern indie rock, Hillcrest Road have created a solid pop/rock album that may be rooted in the 90s but owes a lot more to The New Pornographers than Nirvana. (In fact, engineer Mike Hagler has worked with The New Pornographers, as well as OK Go and Wilco.)
Hailing from Milwaukee, it’s not hard to imagine any of these songs on the radio or as a video starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Great vocals, explosive drumming, and enough backbone to straighten even their softest songs. Give ‘em a listen.