Retreating to a secluded cabin in the Michigan woods while warmed by the glow of their beloved city across the lake, Hummingbiird (once Chicago s Pedal Steel Transmission) has emerged from the wilderness armed with a startlingly unique and vibrant artifact. My Bloody Valentine textures lay on top of Marmalade grooves, Youngbloods optimism, even 2 minute Pavement jaunts. Following up 2003 s critically acclaimed Angel of the Squared Circle , this album is the sound of a band that has hit its stride. Homesic and Sunburnt and Nuclear Winter gently hypnotize and wrap us in warm cocoons of blissful tone and sweet vocal harmony, while Speak Softly and No Need to Go invite us on a wild ride of soaring anthem and cavernous bombast. Roger Moutenot (long time Yo La Tengo producer) handled mixing duties on the release, his influence felt throughout in the record s infectious vibrancy and subtle psychedelia. From first track to last, the album exudes a quiet confidence that hits a perfect balance of organic drone and maddeningly hook-laden song writing.
At any given moment, the music may evoke anything from Ennio Morricone to The Cure to the Allmans to the Kinks to what have you. --Fool in the Forest
Not many bands self title their fourth album, but for Chicago's Hummingbiird, this is something of a new debut. Formed in 1999 (and formerly called Pedal Steel Transmission), the band set out to bridge the singer-songwriter country-based rock of Gram Parsons and the left-field indie of bands like Pavement and Yo La Tengo, capturing somewhat fortunately the sound (and drive) of an early REM along the way. However, when one founder member left the band shortly after the release of the third album, this created space for bassist and studio engineer Brett Barton to step in and add a remarkably mature edge to the sound, and more cinematic song structure. In truth, the band's sound is closer to Yo La Tengo than ever, but none the worse for that, with gently jangled guitars behind a slow-core groove, recalling the early days of alt country nostalgically. This is as honest as music gets - good songs, well told, with no artifice. --Urban Essentials UK
the album is packed with wistful, melodic jangle and hum, rumble and roar. Highly recommended for disillusioned Wilco fans. --Shake Your Fist