Consistently excellent Cincinnati Rock band The Hiders celebrate the release of their latest full-length, Temenos, this Saturday at Hoffner Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside). The album release performance kicks off at 10 p.m. The band will play the new album from start to finish, followed by a set of older material. Admission is $5; $10 if you want a CD (which you should). The event is also BYOB.
Since 2006’s Valentine, The Hiders have received acclaim outside of the city for their work, but it’s been hardly the attention they deserve. Temenos could be the one to right that injustice. It’s a natural progression from 2010’s stellar Four Letter Town — not a jarring change from singer/songwriter Billy Alletzhauser’s previous work, but a culmination of everything that works so well in his gifted hands.
There are rootsy elements to The Hiders’ sound, but labeling them “Alt Country” or “Roots Rock” never feels right. Like avowed influence Mark Linkous, Alletzhauser is one of those rare songwriters whose work transcends easy genre specification and magically takes the listener somewhere that feels familiar without resorting to retro-minded clichés. He also has a knack for working with exceptional, like-minded musicians who, especially on Temenos, take the moody, evocative qualities of his songs and create the perfect backdrop.
Each song on Temenos has a hypnotic quality and is loaded with exquisite soulfulness. There are no “rockers,” per se, on the album — each song gracefully melts into the next, buoyed by the band’s distinctive, slow-burning sway. Alletzhauser’s vocals and melodies (punctuated by the fabulous harmonies of singer Beth Harris) recall Neil Young and My Morning Jacket, but, while fans of both would certainly fall in love at first listen with The Hiders, over the course of four albums, the group has found and strengthened its own unique identity.
In a word, Temenos is timeless.
From those haunting melodies, flowing rhythms and some stellar guitar work to the unfussy production and the arrangements’ compelling structures and ornamentations (which include Mellotron sounds, pedal steel guitar and various organ and keyboard support), someone unfamiliar could be easily convinced that the album was released in 1972.
There are some fantastic individual tracks on Temenos — the soaring “A Love in Between” (which one could imagine a Joshua Tree-era U2 covering), the folksy, glassy-eyed, romantic opener “Under Shooting Stars,” the phenomenal, spooky, Neil Youngian closer/title track — but I highly recommend absorbing the album in full. Maybe not while driving — the album’s mesmerizing songs take you to The Hiders’ enchanted world and have the capability of grabbing and holding on to your undivided attention for Temenos’ entire nearly hour-long run time. (thehiders.com)
More Local Notes
• Explosive local Punk/Post Punk bands Knife the Symphony and Swear Jar — labelmates on the Phratry Records imprint (run by KtS’s Jerry Dirr) — become EP-mates with the release of a new “split” project featuring three tracks from KtS and five from Swear Jar. The joint effort goes international in early 2013 (thanks to Phratry’s solid distribution associations) but this Saturday you can pick up a copy at the release party at The Comet in Northside. Showtime for the free show is 10 p.m. and Canada’s The Shanks are also scheduled to perform. (phratryrecords.com)
• Friday at Newport’s Southgate House Revival, Indie Folk Rock crew Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues celebrate the release of its latest album, Tucumcari, New Mexico and Other Songs (issued by Michigan label Mind Over Matter Records). A Cincy native, Wallace paid his dues on the road with his band The Wading Girl and as bassist with Tim Barry before moving back to Cincinnati from Virginia in 2009 and striking out on his own. The new release from the hard-touring Wallace features a cast of local players from the Punk scene, including former/current members of The Dopamines, Team Stray and Shivs. Friday’s release show takes place in the SGHR’s Revival Room and includes special guests Frontier Folk Nebraska and We Are Snapdragon. Showtime is 9 p.m. and admission is $5 or $8 for those ages 18-21. You can preview the new release at billywallace.bandcamp.com or click below for a sample.
• The freshly CEA-nominated Comet Bluegrass All-Stars have somehow managed to exist for 16 years without ever playing a Christmas show. That’ll all change this Friday when the band presents “The Comet Bluegrass All-Star Christmas Concert” at the Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center (620 Greenup St., Covington). The band will offer up a collection of holiday tunes as well as their typically dazzling renditions of traditional numbers. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance (through bakerhunt.org) or $15 at the door. UPDATE: This show is officially SOLD OUT. (cometbluegrass.com)
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