These guys are one of those highly derivative acts who draw influence from many different sources (as opposed to just two or three in the manner of a few bands going around right now. I'm sure you know the ones I'm talking about), and wind up sounding more distinctive for it. You can certainly hear who they've been listening to over the years, but nothing really dominates. I wouldn't want to overstate their originality, that just wouldn't be right. But the end result is still quite convincing.
I can hear traces of such diverse sounds as The Black Crowes, Janes Addiction, Neil Young, Psychedelic era Floyd, 60s West Coast hippie music like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, Dylan, hell I wouldn't even be surprised if they'd taken in a bit of our own Wolfmother! And I'm sure they're heavily influenced by the psychosis-inducing amounts of pot they no doubt smoked while writing and recording this album. Hopewell have thrown all of these influences into the boiling pot, cooked it with their own secret herbs and spices, and served up ‘Good Good Desperation’. And it tastes great!
The sound takes you back to a bygone era of flares, flower children and the summer of love, even if you weren't alive in 1967. And the good thing about it all is that they've honed their sound to reduce the excessive meanderings often associated with Psychedelic music, and brought it into 2010. Made it a little less cheesey too (pardon the culinary ode once again). These can only be good things.
At the end of the day, Psychedelia ain't my cup of tea. Hopewell are a little light on for riffs, face melting guitar and nuclear strength drumming for my true tastes. But I can certainly appreciate when a 'foreign' genre is done with great skill, and pays homage to the past without living in it, and this is the case here. It's tasteful, soulful and a lot of fun. Fans of the style will absolutely lap it up with relish.
(Tee Pee Records)