String Machine returns with Hallelujah Hell Yeah (Know Hope Records), a buoyant reimagining of the septet’s rustic maximalism.
Where String Machine’s previous album, 2019’s excellent Death of the Neon, ambled its way through chilly, late-autumn atmospheres, seeking a warm burrow in which to nestle, Hallelujah shakes itself awake after a winter of hibernation. Everything feels more streamlined and energized; David Beck’s confessional lyrics hit directly rather than obliquely, while the songs themselves reach faster paces and scale grander heights. The group really lets it rip on “Churn It Anew,” Hallelujah‘s second track. Chunky bass and disco-inspired drums drive the song forward, while Beck and Laurel Wain weave their voices–the former’s mumbly and twangy, the latter’s clear and bell-like–in glorious harmony. Rousing, horn-assisted climaxes sneak up gradually, gathering force and volume until they reach proper anthem territory. Reminds me a bit of Son Volt at their most spirited. Even though it snowed this morning (I think), Spring is coming, and String Machine can guide you there.