You find yourself falling into a rut, buying new albums by long-time favorite artists, but rarely stepping outside your comfort zone. And then one day, you catch yourself in the middle of saying "Man, all new music suc---" but it's too late, the young hipsters in the room have already written you off.
At this point, you could literally walk behind the counter, open the cash register, remove all the money, and walk out the door. It would be the perfect crime. And, sure, the first few times are a total rush, but even a life of petty burglaries gets boring after awhile so you start challenging yourself to try new things and not be so damn judgmental.
But let's not get crazy. Maybe it is best to hold off on buying that hand-whittled box set by the Icelandic folk metal act with the name no human can pronounce and spare us all the shitty acting as you pretend to enjoy it.
Perhaps start with the new full-length album Landmark from St. Paul, MN combo Hippo Campus.
But first, watch the band perform the entire album live from their hometown. Watch as a young band creates a sound that pulls equally from the past and the future. There is enough immediate familiarity in the songwriting and musicianship to make the modern inflections a welcome addition to a well-worn pop template.
If you stream the studio album before viewing the live performance, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find Hippo Campus can "pull it off live". Hell, we at The Shit were just happy to discover they were American because usually something that touches upon so many beloved UK keystones (the Smiths, House of Love, Aztec Camera, Lightning Seeds, et al) tends to come from Britain.
After absorbing Landmark in its entirety, we've come to the conclusion that Hippo Campus is what Joy Division would have sounded like had they grown up in thriving modern-day St. Paul, MN instead of the gloomy, ashen dung heap that was Manchester in the early '80s.
Rather than spend the next hour rummaging through the nearest thesaurus to find words that might do this album justice, allow us to say that any song on this album could be issued as a single, but if "Vines" doesn't eventually become a huge smash hit somewhere, there will be Hell to pay.
Here's the best part: Hippo Campus are coming to town April 7th to play Metro!