In a post to his band's Bandcamp page, the anonymous Bloomington-based songwriter behind the band Hypocrite in the Hippy Crypt describes his band's debut LP, Tweaker in the Park, as an album about crazy people, oceans, and murder, recorded in the basement of a dorm, spawned from craziness and late nights.
And, indeed, the conditions of the record's creation certainly inform the finished product, though the lyrics have a certain timeless wisdom — Tweaker doesn't sound like the product of a dorm basement, in other words.
In terms of sound design, Tweaker has an out-of-whack quality. Melancholy, reverberated vocals float over simple, often intentionally out-of-tune acoustic accompaniments. Jangling surf rock guitars offset that organic mix, occasionally taking the forefront. Piano and guitar solos sometimes jump to the forefront, giving the proceedings a woozy, unpredictable feel.
Lyrically, Hypocrite offers sing-song rhymes on life as music ("I hope you take the time to count all of the memories / Take note of the melodies that strike you"), the future as literature ("I’ll write a book that will blow your mind / I’ll chase a girl that isn’t worth my time") and waning youth ("Now is the time you realize all the times you compromised / Who gets Player One / And who gets to watch the door").
Some tracks on Tweaker gesture towards '60s rock giants: The lazily-swinging “Heaven in the Hideaway" pays tribute to The Beach Boys, and The Beatles provide the blueprint for “Poptimistic.”
The album is at its strongest when lively, dance-y percussion offsets the lead singer's subdued vocals, as on “The Town Crazies,” “Thoughts Collected,” and “The Down.”
Initially released in December 2010 by Bloomington’s Tree Machine Records, Tweaker in the Park was re-issued this June by Gulcher Records, the Orlando-via-Bloomington label that has released work by The Gizmos, Kurt Vile and John Cougar Mellencamp.
Hear: Three tracks from Tweaker in the Park, via Bandcamp