Hop Along – ‘Painted Shut’

Review by Steve Marck

No one knows when they’ll fall in love for the last time, but most folks will be able to grade how they might feel afterwards. Some words encompass those emotions well (gutted, raw, scorned), but without emphasis, they’re lack. Painted Shut has Hop Along conducting a gamut of affectations, specific to their own histories though they may be– Frances Quinlan’s ability to add both pain and power to any given word gives her tone universal connectivity. These aren’t expressions of sole romantic exchanges (either taken away or left behind); they’re stories of love of all kinds, therein and after. By virtue of contrast, Hop Along make reliving past heartaches a less lonely endeavor. Every verse is a piece of a character study done around someone you know, or maybe a part of yourself you’ve never told anyone about. Each listen through Painted Shut makes me thankful Quinlan and company have had Hop Along as an outlet to share their executions. If this was the last time I were to fall in love with an album, I’d be okay with that.