Hammock continue to amaze. Building on the ambient soundscape experiments of Sleep-Over, Vol. 1 and their already-excellent melodic songwriting skills, Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo expands Hammock's artistic reach with its anthemic shoegaze (the title track), and with soothing instrumentals ("When the Sky Pours Down Like a Fountain"). Hammock's music is serene, blissed-out, and introspective at the same time. The bluesy guitar licks and brushed drums that introduce "Losing You to You" set a somber tone, but the fuzzed-out guitar drones and what sounds like steel guitar take the track to unimagined heights of orgasmic joy. Many of the newer shoegazers take their music only so far, releasing entire albums of amps buzzing (see Sunn 0)))), but Hammock take a different approach by tapping into their melodic sensibilities, and thereby perform on a higher level than many of their contemporaries. With Raising Your Voice, Hammock leave behind the dream pop scene from whence they came, and become a band creating truly unique music -- transcendent shoegaze. Evidence for this claim? See "Floating Away in Every Direction," with its sweeping melody soaring over a charming plucked motif, or the gentle elegy that is "Take a Drink from My Hands." Hammock are at the top of their game, and musing on the question of where they can take their music from here is very exciting.
AllMusic Review by James Mason