The Hathaway Family Plot – Having No Alternative

artist: The Hathaway Family Plot
title: Having No Alternative
keywords: buffalo ny diy experimental creative commons experiemental experimental electronic experimental folk kazoo piano weird Buffalo

The following album is what I would like to call ‘a nice surprise’. Let me explain: when receiving it and traveling towards its online home I had the impression that this release would be unlistenable odd harsh noise, don’t know what really have me the impression, maybe some words or just the compliment of an artist telling in an email that he ‘likes our style’, not sure what it was that made me expect the worse possible brain melting headache material…

But then I pressed ‘play’ and I’m almost grateful for thinking so negatively as when the first music played I was surprised, shocked and carefully delighted! This was not material to swallow paracetamols for; this was an unexpected delight! It was ‘The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new’ that made me feel like being in love at first sight. Sweet melodic piano material with kind bonus experiments that might be noises, but they are beautiful soft delicate noises, basically just complimenting and supporting the work and making sure it sounds modern and not made in some Celtic dungeon with the door locked for centuries.

To be sure that we are in the future, a place with almost limitless possibilities minus the corners of an artist’s imagination, a very special sounding ‘Mountain’ had then to be climbed. And yes even though you wouldn’t call it a classical masterpiece with a violin, piano and a flute; it’s pretty noisy! It is as original and engaging as something that would actually be something like that. With noises a tension is build, but they have melodic tones, like alarms with acoustic issues, hissing up the hill like a bunch of doodle-sack players that rebelled against the rules of sheet music. Hell, they even managed to sing some kind of bizarre pop song somewhere in there!

A moment of intimacy and personal madness comes in the wonderfully done ‘Mercator’. A work that mixes the sincerity of the artist’s humble voice capacities with pretty piano notes & a captive duck probably half strangled near a close range microphone. It’s pretty special!

The next track is ‘Chewing on aluminum’ which is perhaps a strange title, even though the actual music isn’t exactly the most normal either. It sounds like a nice composition of sound that flows more in an industrial act of kindness then that there are a pair of teeth involved that chew.
Up next is an alternative ambient spectacle with pretty piano tones, sweet hiss (reminding me of a shore being washed away by the sea) and feels like a sincere moment in which the artist had sunk in its own feelings for a check and cleanup. Oh and it’s called ‘Every stupid thing I’ve ever done’.

Then another intimate sounding moment of a track brings itself in. It’s ‘Ghosts in the wood’ in which Kevin (the secret identity behind ‘The Hathaway Family Plot’) sings a sincere song on top of a calm bed of melody that makes a listener easily imagine the artist playing his instrument in a quiet trance.

With a bit of a hammering introduction the sensibility of the artist seems to be cracked open and exposed for another personal sounding work named ‘Spirituality exhibition’. The voice sings with sincerity while piano keys wander cutely around like a cat that likes to tiptoe.
Then ‘Anynothing’ which is an intensive experience of bizarreness in an original expressionistic pop rock mentalist-way. A snare like instrument pling plonks around, a misfired mini mouse voice sings about getting freaky and the music seems to comply. This is pretty freaky!

But it isn’t finished as there is ‘Shadows of small fears’ which is like a dense and deep fall into the abyss with full echo and reverb. Like a quick drop in the pit of a volcano.
With a self-explaining title ‘I love you and you are safe’ the artist simply and beautifully delivers what it suggests. It’s beautiful, cozy and warm and pretty much full of love.

Then beautiful disarray made with a choir of satisfying kazoos ‘An easy winter’ settles itself in. It’s result is again an expression that feels very personal, everything that underlines that this release is one that definitely deserves the title of being a very nice surprise.

Having no alternative (an alternative take) is a nice alternative to a more normal alternative ending of an album. There is the comfort of a smoke screen of pretty warm noise that makes way for some goodbyes from the piano before taking it all away for the final end.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a great original album, very listenable and personal oh and underline ‘original’ as to make sure you will know this release is pretty unique. Check it out at the following link:

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