Reviews || Hippie Trim - "Cult"

Hippie Trim is a melodic hardcore punk band hailing from the German Rhine & Ruhr area. Although a fairly new to the scene, Hippie Trim's members were not exactly inexperienced in the field. Created by four former members of Earl Grey after their disbanding in 2018, the quintet started making a name for themselves with the release of the single "Supersonic". They then sold out their debut show and in the summer of 2019 embarked on a tour with Drug Church, as a support on their German dates. Their first studio album titled "Cult" will see the light of day on November 29 via Redfield records. 

Containing 10 tracks, "Cult" is meticulous to its core. The well crafted melodies will win over even the toughest hardcore dude. It's a weird recipe that seems, however, to play out extremely well; the songs are fresh, definitely a product of their time, yet they seem to carry a nostalgic tone from almost a decade ago. The approach on certain parts to me is reminiscent of More Than Life, sprinkled with touches of early Being As An Ocean, and the sheer emotion conveyed in the vocals is enough to send shivers down my spine. The thing is, these guys are honest about their cause. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel in any case, but the way they play sets them immediately apart from a lot of peers in that scene. The amalgamation of different influences, from the punk rock edginess, to the melodic hardcore kick straight in the feels, results in a very enjoyable sonic outcome. Although not exactly upbeat, "Cult" is not an album that will drown the listener in existential dread or negative feelings. Some lifting particles can be found in strategic places throughout the album, particularly in songs that bear punkier influences. It actually fascinates me how this album is using such varying yet homogenous in this context elements to appeal to broad audiences. The songs are heavy enough to allow Hippie Trim to play alongside the up-and-coming names of the German scene, but the weight is distributed -not exactly evenly- between the music and the lyrics, where the latter can resonate with the listener. The musicians are young, documenting their experiences and hardships, therefore creating a sense of community and belonging for the eager ear -what "Cult" essentially represents and aspires to create.

Overall, "Cult" ticks all the right boxes to make a lasting and memorable impression. It encapsulates the current being of a music scene and interprets it through a prism of calculated nostalgia. If I hadn't known that it's a debut album, I probably wouldn't have guessed it. Hippie Trim did an excellent job here and I'm definitely looking forward to what else they will come up with in the future.
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