“Black Rabbit” opens with an instrumental ironically titled “An Open Book Conversationalist”. Despite its lack of words the song sets the tone of the album well with a poppy folk sound reminiscent of The Go-Betweens. A group harmony opens “Everyone in This Town” and the slick pop mixed with violin makes it next to impossible not to think once again of The Go-Betweens and the same goes for the occassional feminine vocals. Lyrically “I’m Sorry I Thought This Was a City” is a drunken reflection and a solitary profanity in the tune jars with jangly guitar. An assurredness rings loud in “Valkrie” due to The Hague’s collectively strong songwriting. Due to its sweet melancholy “Hour Glass” would fit comfortably on a Red House Painters or any other Mark Kozelek project with attention grabbing gentleness.
While the Hague do carry features of bands from last century, the band is definitely a product of this present age. Somewhere in the information I received along with this album, it is mentioned that all members of the Hague are bearded so make of that what you will. The music is really what counts and there’s not a bad song on this album although the folky group harmonies are the album’s weaker moments. Speaking loudly for the band is an unpretentious combination of shimmering guitar and violin with often unpredictable rhythmic structures. The The Hague’s songs are here to do the talking and there’s enough variation between songs which gives no reason to hit the skip button as this.
The Hague had a successful kickstarter project going to raise funds for a vinyl for a version of the album.