The Hypochondriacs quickly etched their mark as a staple band in the Fredericton music scene long before their debut album was released. And we mean long. In 3/4 took what felt like a lifetime to come into fruition, but as they say all good things are worth waiting for.
Their press release says “The Hypochondriacs resurrect classic country vibes with a strange and captivating modern twist”, and sound completely authentic while doing it. Rockabilly is in the Bravener’s blood. Josh travelled as an Elvis impersonator with his father, an award winning Elvis tribute artist himself! Chris MacLean of All In The Mind Studios was able to fully capture their raw and rowdy sound – so what you get on the album closely resembles what they deliver during their live shows! (although I do miss that saxy Waterhouse solo during Last Night)
The record is deceivingly full of heartbreak and sad memories masked behind upbeat tempos and extraordinary lyrics. Kicking off the album is the foot stomper Just Like Before, where what feels like anger and resentment in the beginning fades into a somber realization by the end.
Two Bottles Of Whiskey may be one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard. A tale about a man who’s giving up. Dillon Anthony’s pedal steel stands out in this track and emphasizes the sorrow in the lyrics, like “I’ve got two bottles of whiskey and I’ve got one bottle of pills to end it all. Oh my heart never stopped loving you, but my mind and body are through with you and this life.”
But bringing you out of that 4:54 minutes of depression is the dancable Hung Up and Hung Over which shows off Josh’s deft guitar skills. But don’t be fooled! You’re listening to a tale of lying, cheating, and drinking your feelings away; a common theme throughout the record.
3/4 is another example of where melancholy flows from your speakers straight into your heart. And what takes this album to the next level is the stunning harmonies of Justine Koroscil and Kelly Waterhouse, which you really get to hear on this track and The Meeting Place.
Doo wop track Last Night also has amazing harmonies and is the first time you really feel the heartbreak in Josh’s vocals. It’s a feeling we’ve all experienced before, seeing a past love with someone else. And no matter how much you tell yourself you’re really over it, you’re really not. With some people you never are. If this [doo wop] song was originally written as a joke then the joke is on them, because it’s one of the most emotional songs on the record, with exception to The Meeting Place, which departs from the stories of heartache to tell a true tale about the Bravener’s father and his experience leaving The Meeting Place, a place of worship he built to spread the Word and love.
In The Mountains, much like Just Like Before, disguises outrage with riffs and bouncy drums.
Saving the best for last, Reaching Out is the party song of the album! During this song is perhaps the only time it’s socially acceptable to both do the hand jive then throw both middle fingers up in the air. The real highlight of listening to this track is picturing how much joy Aaron probably got out of shouting we don’t give a fuck halfway through the song.