Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
Halloween Hopes is an eclectic and intriguing songwriter based in Southern California. HH writes in multiple genres from punk to rap and has an enjoyable unpredictability to his output that’s fresh and authentic. Party Music was originally intended to be a fun Halloween-themed record for adults and HH already had some appropriately seasonal music together. Unfortunately, life got in the way and some darker, more serious material emerged and changed the character of the album some but it’s still a great set of music for your autumn listening pleasure.
“Halloween Horror Store” is a pop/punk story song about one family’s October adventure in San Diego and opens the record in fine style. It’s a well-executed rock track with a lot of push to it and some great-sounding guitars. It also spotlights vocalist Hana Muftic and guitarist Richard Globisch of the band Asila, who work their magic on a few tunes on Party Music. “Halloween Dreams” is another story, this time about HH’s move from Arizona to California, and features SoCAL rapper Nekro G getting down all over it. It was originally meant to be funny but Nekro upped the intensity in his own inimitable way. He has a cool, gritty vocal tone that really drives the song.
“Blood Party” is a spooky, minor-key party song, which sounds odd but will make perfect sense the first time you hear it. It’s a vampire thing so you’ve got to understand and the track features Steve Rosenbaum, frontman of San Diego rockers Mess of Fun. “Point Of No Return” is a banging cut about facing fears in life’s crucial moments and was inspired by the climbing movie Free Solo. It’s one of the songs that take Party Music out of its party mode but it’s a brilliant track that had to be included. Other bright spots on Party Music are many, so be sure to check out “Seeing Things” and “No Brakes For Wicked.”
Halloween Hopes absolutely puts down sounds we haven’t heard before and has an engaging and creative record here that’ll light up a lot of people. Party Music is a multifaceted gem that showcases strong talents in unique ways. Add it to your Fall rotation and give your season a reason.
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