Dublin based alt-rock ensemble Hypno Puppet was originally spearheaded by Irish actress/vocalist Klara McDonnell and Liverpudlian guitarist/vocalist Sean Cray. Both artists decided a team up was in order after meeting at a singer/songwriter night and getting into a discussion about how they each wanted to be in a band. Hypno Puppet threw themselves wholeheartedly into the local live scene. Since then, they’ve been making their presence felt at locations such as Sweeneys, The Grand Social, NUI Maynooth and Whelans, where they launched their Rivers of Time EP on May 3rd.
The four track compilation taps into some enthusiastic vocals with “Beat You”. Purposeful percussion and riveting riffs help build towards a fast and fiery chorus, whose raw passion and energy is extremely absorbing. Things remain speedy and spirited through a vigorous guitar solo before the riotous refrain returns to end things on an awesome high.
“Riverside” arrives next via a determined acoustic riff which develops alongside a gentle harmony, growing constantly and building anticipation. While it doesn’t end up erupting the way you might expect, it does maintain a lively ambience throughout.
“Shadow You’ve Become” features an ominous instrumental introduction afterwards, ahead of vocals that develop a rather frantic and disturbing demeanour as they progress. Stirring string work also joins in to add to the foreboding nature of the piece before it bursts into a plethora of chaotic but fairly captivating musical motifs. It all results in a consistently creepy and unsettling composition.
“Time’s Hand” follows by way of soft and serene instrumentation that leads into an emotional melody. It’s a lot more reserved than its predecessors, acting as a solemn and serious finale.
Hypno Puppet haven’t made a bad effort here. Unfortunately the record’s latter three tracks don’t quite manage to replicate the infectious intensity of the strong and striking opening number. However, the exciting execution of “Beat You” and the eager atmosphere of the rest is enough to show that these guys certainly do at least have the potential to become a truly thrilling rock outfit. Rivers of Time is available for download from iTunes now.