Alpha Hopper – Last Chance Power Drive LP (Swimming Faith / Radical Empathy)

Alpha Hopper - Last Chance Power Drive LP - Swimming Faith / Radical Empathy

This material is, what I truly believe, a second full-length by this Buffalo, NY-based quartet. Despite being fully aware of all the activities surrounding Swimming Faith, this recording somehow went under the radar, but luckily, now I have a chance to write a couple of lines about it. For those who missed my previous reviews about Aloha Hopper LP and Alpha Hex Index LP, Alpha Hopper is one of those groups that are experimenting with various genres to achieve a particular sound. Since its inception, Alpha Hopper released an impressive amount of recordings, such as a debut full-length cassette named Let Heaven And Nature Sing, a digital single for Denver Airport, Last Chance Power Drive LP, Aloha Hopper LP, and Alpha Hex Index LP. These recordings came out in less than five years, so I can only conclude the group is quite prolific.

Last Chance Power Drive contains twelve energetic experimental rock compositions. Like other groups involving John Toohill, Alpha Hopper nurtures quite a specific sound based upon garage rock, but you may notice other subgenres of rock along the way. Besides garage rock, you may notice the presence of noise rock, rock’n’roll, surf rock, noise-punk, punk rock, art-punk, and post-punk. Comparing to their later releases, it seems that Last Chance Power Drive leans much more towards the rock’n’roll side. Alpha Hopper unquestionably introduced more power, dynamics, and noise on their following recordings, but Last Chance Power Drive represents the turning point in their music when the group decided to become heavier than before. However, the essence of their sound remains the same to this day. Alpha Hopper stands firmly in experimental waters where the group feels most comfortable.

The guitars are offering a comprehensive collection of powerful noise rock acrobatics, chaotic experimentations, cacophonic noises, but you may stumble upon some classic art-punk, noise-punk, post-punk, and rock’n’roll maneuvers. The bass guitar contains a reasonable dosage of fuzz distortion, layered over the initial low-end tones to perfection. The bass guitar undoubtfully contributes to the massive output of the entire group, but it also enhances the amount of noise that continuously lurks in their music. Like the other instruments, the drummer also provides fully detailed performance through various rhythmic acrobatics, appropriate accentuations, and fills. Last but not least, there are recognizable lead vocals that certainly define Alpha Hopper as a band. The entire group works like a charm during the album, and you’ll enjoy this material, especially if you’re into fuzzy noise rock with loads of experimentations included along the way. Last Chance Power Drive comes on a smokey blue vinyl, and it is still available in limited quantities. Head over to Swimming Faith Records for more detailed information about ordering.

One thought on “Alpha Hopper – Last Chance Power Drive LP (Swimming Faith / Radical Empathy)

  1. […] This material is, what I truly believe, a second full-length by this Buffalo, NY-based quartet. Despite being fully aware of all the activities surrounding Swimming Faith, this recording somehow went under the radar, but luckily, now I have a chance to write a couple of lines about it. For those who missed my previous reviews… Read More Alpha Hopper – Last Chance Power Drive LP (Swimming Faith / Radical Empathy) […]

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