Monday, May 21, 2007

Video Hippos Unbeast the Leash

Predicting where the next influx of unique art will emerge is nothing more than a game of pin the tail on the donkey – the donkey in this case being a map of Earth. Like Omaha before it, Baltimore now finds itself struck by the blinding glow of the indie spotlight. In the spirit of past great artists, the collective Wham City formed to cultivate a fertile environment for music and art, and through it they have sown seeds embracing all things synthetic, peculiar and fun. Notable members of this musical community are Dan Deacon (read RC post), Ponytail, Ecstatic Sunshine and for our purposes today – Video Hippos.

Kevin and Jim are all that comprise Video Hippos, but after several times through Unbeast the Leash I’m convinced there is a genius, robot monster sitting in as the band’s third member. Unlike Dan Deacon’s quirky play of computer blips and swirled loops, Video Hippos execute a full fledged ground assault of sound, which varies from dense, distorted bass to subtle, echoed keyboard loops. "Toothsub" starts the album with a haunting drone reminiscent of William Basinski's Disintegration Loops;
however, the fragile loop suddenly grows legs and sprints into a straight shot of percussion and buried vocals. Many of the album's tracks take off and never look back - at times stopping to rest or change pace, but never revisiting past themes. "Sick Dolphin" exemplifies this idea of immediacy and brings up thoughts of Lightning Bolt.

The duo will be releasing Unbeast the Leash on June 12th, and have a extensive and lovely tour coming up with Dan Deacon.

[mp3] Video Hippos - The List
[mp3] Video Hippos - Kool Shades

Dates w/ Dan Deacon (click for full list of dates)

06/16/07 - ExPlx
06/18/07 - Pehrspace

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