About a Mover

Hospital Garden celebrates release of third album

By Gary Spencer
Photo: Chicago trio Hospital Garden bring their new album Moverto Blind Bob’s on May 26; [l to r] Erik Rasmussen, Sarah Carey and Lucas Hollow

 There seems to be a slogan going around the Gem City for probably decades now. It’s something to the effect of “people may leave Dayton, but they always come back.” While we could sit here and debate the merits or demerits of this sweeping stereotype, in the case of indie rock trio Hospital Garde, it’s most certainly true. While founding members Lucas Hollow (guitars, vocals) and Sarah Carey (bass, vocals) decided to relocate the band from Dayton to Chicago in 2009, the duo – along with new drummer Erik Rasmussen – has made it a point to come back to their hometown for a show roughly once a year and look forward to coming back and rocking out in front of old friends and new fans alike.

“We are excited, as we always are, to be back in town,” Hollow said. “We look forward to having some drinks with good friends and playing songs off the new album.”

Hospital Garden’s rare, upcoming hometown show at Blind Bob’s this Sunday will most certainly feature the trio playing some brand new tunes from its recently released third LP – entitled Mover – on Chicago label Forge Again Records. Upon a few listens, it might strike a Hospital Garden fan that Mover is a quite appropriate title for this third full-length disc. While sonically it doesn’t seem out of place from the band’s previous releases, musically recalling noisy ‘90s indie rock fare such as Superchunk, Poster Children, Th’ Faith Healers and Guided By Voices, according to Hollow it shows the band dictating the pace of the songs versus the songs dictating the pace at which the band plays them.

Mover, to most, probably won’t seem like a huge departure from our previous releases, though it does seem different to me,” Hollow explained. “Classifying your own band is definitely difficult, but we usually get lumped in to any of the following sub-genres: indie rock, pop rock, power pop, noise rock or noise pop. I would describe it as traditional songwriting, but with super loud guitar. It’s noisy, but catchy. I think the songs are closer to mid-tempo, but much heavier than before. Slowing it down a touch allows the hooks to settle in and it makes for a more jarring, yet infectious album. Overall, the song-writing is more compact and improved.”

For those who are still trying to catch up, Hospital Garden’s origins began when Hollow moved to Dayton in 2007 for graduate studies. He put flyers up around town asking around about fellow musicians who wanted to play music with him. Carey responded to the ad, as well as then drummer Ian Spencer, and from there Hospital Garden came into existence. By the following year, the band was gigging and just a year later the group made the move to the Windy City.  Since then the band has issued three full-length records, including their eponymous disc in 2010, Haunter in 2011 and of course their newest opus Mover this year.

“Chicago is a fun place to live, and I did so for a year before moving to Dayton for grad school,” Hollow said. “I never had the intention to stay in Dayton longer than two years. However, when I was done with school, we talked as a band and thought it would be fun to live in another city. Our intention has never been to ‘make it’ or whatever, so exposure wasn’t a big concern.”

Hospital Garden drummer Erik Rasmussen recorded Mover for the band in Chicago during the fall of 2012 at his own recording studio, known as The Observatory. Mover goes down as the band’s seventh overall release since their humble beginnings roughly six years ago. And with this new release under their belts, Hospital Garden is taking it to the streets.

“To spread the word about the record, we will do short tours now and then and try to get press for the record by submitting it for reviews,” Hollow said. “For the next few months, we’ll just be focusing on the album and getting it out there. We want to get rid of this vinyl and play some sweet shows. This album is available on colored vinyl, digital download, and, very limitedly, on CD.”

Album opener “Pine” exemplifies this newfound “midpaced and heavier” sound for Hospital Garden that Hollow described within the grooves of Mover. Musically, the song resembles what might happen if Blue Cheer decided to cover Dinosaur Jr. But then there’s more familiar territory such as the song “Bummin,” which sounds like the sonic marriage of The Pixies and R.E.M, If anything, Hospital Garden seems to have found a niche for themselves – balancing their past musical accomplishments and subtly adding more color to their musical palette. If this was indeed the intent, Hospital Garden has scored a serious win. In turn, Mover should win them new fans as well as satisfying those who’ve been following the trio since they were cutting their teeth on the local band circuit in Dayton.

Hospital Garden will celebrate the release of Mover on Sunday, May 26 at Blind Bob’s, 430 East Fifth St. Pretty & Nice, Pharaohs, Shut Up and Spirit Animal are also on the bill. Doors at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 for 21 and up. For more information, please visit hospitalgarden.bandcamp.com.


Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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