HOSPITAL NEON - Cheap Flowers

Hospital NEON - Cheap Flowers

8 songs
28:36 minutes
***** ****
Listen Loudest


PNDC from Belgrade (Serbia) and Housework from Athens (Greece) have been collaborating for a long time and released together a whole lot of CDs and EPs. Two years ago, the two artists founded the project Hospital NEON which was supposed to show off their more organic side. Their first EP Numbers On My Skin was already rather promising, but didn’t at all prepare for what is now to follow with their second EP Cheap Flowers.

First of all, the eight songs make it to a generous half hour of music, which is more than you can normally expect from the chosen format. But apart from providing more music this time around, they have also perfected their long distance jam session style of working together. As far as I understand, PNDC is in charge of the music, while Housework came up with the vocals and the lyrics.

The opener Girl Alive starts out quite inconspicuously, although it is clear from the beginning that the music of Hospital NEON is much more organic than anything they have done ass PNDC&Housework. The vocals are quite deep, sometimes a little broken and definitely convey a sense of poetry. The music has a very live feeling and emphasises on the guitar, bass and drums. The latter even seem to have been played by PNDC himself and not programmed on a beat machine. Halfway into the song, it picks up momentum and it’s there where the duo really shines brightly. One feels reminded of Nick Cave, The Fall, Joy Division and maybe even a little Gallon Drunk. The following Love Is The Drug is a mesmerising cover version of the old Roxy Music classic. Housework doesn’t of course sound as suave as a Bryan Ferry, but this newly interpreted version also has its very own charm. On the short 007 Hospital NEON check out their noise rock capabilities, and they convince once again comprehensively. Evergreens starts out as a spooky ballad, once again highlighting the whole depth of Housework’s vocals, before the second half of this rather short track is taken over by another powerful noise attack full with screaming guitars that recall the relentless bravado of the Nineties. The title track Cheap Flowers doesn’t play so much with dynamic ranges but instead focuses on concise songwriting. Especially the wild organ gives this song genuine retro qualities. No Harm Done, while definitely also a pleasant track, can’t yet quite live up to the superior material on the EP. Good Morning Angels is another mellower track, and while I subjectively prefer the duo’s more rocking side, I have to concede that it’s the slower songs that give more room to the excellent vocals. The record concludes with a demo take of Country Of Apes, and despite its even rougher than usual approach, it still fits perfectly into the overall atmosphere of Cheap Flowers, a little masterwork that caught me quite by surprise. I am not lying when I am writing that this is the best these two South East Europeans have crafter together so far. You can even download it for free on their Bandcamp site!

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