Dublin duo Hypno Puppet are a band unsure how exactly they want to sound. Loosely falling into a pop rock bracket they unconvincingly blend in elements of acoustic blues. Musically it’s mixed up without a clear distinctive identity and on top of they haven’t worked out how best to use the talents of their singer Klara McDonnell.
McDonnell has an impressive voice, with a clear and concise tone and capable of dexterous vocal gymnastics. But it’s not enough to show you can hit high notes and hold them. On Beat You McDonnell attempts to inject some passion when singing “I wanna beat you” during the chorus but the end result is that it comes off as over egged. Musically the verses of Beat You are tired and sparse sounding with the bread and butter choruses uninspired. It’s left to McDonnell to compensate for the underwhelming music on the song but she goes too far, too often.
On the more atmospheric Riverside McDonnell slightly curbs her singing style and the song benefits slightly. There are moments of mystery that frustratingly fall short of developing into something substantial. They’re undone by McDonnell lingering too long on some vocal notes.
They are the equivalent of an unnecessary extended drum solo plonked into the middle of a chorus.
There really isn’t any need for these excesses , however minor they are, and it’s these subtle elements that make the difference between a song merely being adequate and elevating to something much more memorable.
‘Rivers Of Time’ remaining two tracks Time’s Hands and Shadow You’ve Become both lack a clear idea of where they should go. Each of the aforementioned mid tempo songs plod along aimlessly without a significant pay off to entice the listener back, failing to generate any discernible momentum or melody. It’s the sort of inoffensive and unremarkable music that populates corporate call waiting services.
The raw components of a technically accomplished singer and good musicians exist in Hypno Puppet but they have yet to find that winning songwriting streak that successfully meshes their individual talents together. ‘Rivers Of Time’ is an EP which is a chore to listen to repeatedly and is ultimately a disappointing and uninspiring collection of songs.