hyperstory is the moniker adopted by L.A. musician C. Scott Blevins for his self-titled debut album. The album was recorded over two years in multiple locations and includes guest performances by many musicians. Blevins himself performs guitar on the album and is responsible for the arrangements and sampling work.
The album has a promising beginning, with the too brief instrumental intro “Prelude” adopting a dusty western theme with a lonesome whistler and a hazy desert vibe. Unfortunately, this Calexico-like track only lasts for less than a minute and is not fully explored. The first proper song on the record is the single “A Happening,” an engaging and fairly simple pop tune with a few nice ideas, such as the childlike “la la la la” call and response midway through. It has a kind of Fastball/Spoon feel that is always appealing to this Austinite. The major misstep in this song occurs when Blevins appends a repetitive, almost two minute coda that stretches what should be a three minute pop song past the five minute mark. The same problem is repeated later on “”Will It Ever Change”, but this track stumbles even further with its verse melody that almost outright copies “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Only two other tracks on the album, “Something Good” and”A Reckoning”, contain vocals, and none match up to the catchiness of “A Happening”, although “A Reckoning” does have an admittedly hooky chorus.
At first, I felt that this release would perhaps have worked better as an EP, since only four of the nine songs contain vocals, but since Blevins isn’t a singer, I had to re-examine it as a release from a musician. Even from this standpoint, I feel the same way since the instrumental tracks add nothing to the record. “Ascension” is basically a throwback theme to a 70’s cop show without any hint of an updated take on the material. The instrumentation and arrangement are fine, but what is it doing on this album? The same goes for the closing track, the appropriately titled “End Story”, which is an ambient whistling chillout that at least seems less out of place than “Ascension”, but still doesn’t add any value to the album as a whole. There are also two inexplicable tracks that contain no music at all. One is a rant from an apparent street preacher, and the other is literally a person walking up a flight of stairs, then unlocking and opening an apartment door. So upon further review, even without removing the instrumentals, there are only six full tracks. Should have been an EP.
hyperstory will be released on November 10, 2009.
hyperstory – “A Happening”