Sometimes we need a break even from something we are deeply in love with, to see it from another perspective, from the sidelines, to make up our minds to go for something we’ve always aspired to, but had one thing or another impeding it; to give it a try. So did the ex-bass player of Smokin’ Joker Ben Hobbs (Geelong, Australia): having been with the successful rock band through all its ups and downs, through rise and fall; Ben still felt there was something missing, something he hadn’t actualized; so he decided to make a project he could express his nature through completely. That is how Hobbsy came into being.
Hobbs collaborated with his old friends and band members: Clint Johannes, Andrew Cromwell, Brett Rerekura and Alex Williams, – to create his first album called Risen From The Dead (quite symbolic, isn’t it?).
The album sounds solid and powerful, – and there is nothing to do with the heavy tone of the songs, – it’s just that one can clearly understand that the project is made not by a bunch of amateurs, but delivered by a group of well-experienced and established musicians, having explored all the aspects of music and found their stable approach.
I was pleasantly surprised to have discovered, that the album comprises of complex and diverse songs, built on a variety of music genres, trying to name which would have been a waste of time, for they range from grunge to pop, for a wonder. Nevertheless, it only shows the maturity of the band members, who are not afraid to experiment with their sound.
The multiplicity of the vocal boggles the mind: it sounds rough, growling at times, passes into soft, flowing, melodic voice, becomes cheerful and careless and goes back again.
Every composition of Risen From The Dead is a complete entity, an accomplished story with its own mood, its own message. In spite of the shredded guitar riffs and the heavy drum and bass parts, the whole disposition of the album is not at all depressing. I would say that it conveys the duality of our world: the bad and the good, life and death, the light and the dark, – this is what all our existence consists of, this is what makes it possible for us to feel and understand anything at all, – through comparison, through balancing. Some of the songs are deeply religious, some of them are philosophical, some are personal, – but all of them are absolutely intimate.
Mannya Jam is another story all together. It starts with the singing of children from Mannya Primary School and Mannya Dance group, Mannya, Uganda; followed by an epic, inspiring composition. This short track, in my opinion, is an absolute zest of the album, – it is an unexpected turn, a surprising change from the hard, dark sound of the set of the songs.
It’s a shame and pity, that, having such great creations as Risen From The Dead and others of the kind; what we hear most of the time from the radio, TV and simply from every corner of the streets, is a complete nonsense. Well, on the other hand, isn’t it the reason, why we can appreciate such music? “I don’t understand, but in this sinking there’s meaning”.