Smile Politely

BEST album: Hum’s Inlet

From our BEST 2020 feature:

BEST album: Hum’s Inlet 

By now, if you want to read about how well received Hum’s first album in over 22 years was, there are plenty of places for you to do that. The end of year lists they are on says it all, and frankly, it is more than well deserved. That we get to call this band our own, 30 years after it was founded, and decades since they were playing arenas and being touted on MTV, is truly incredible. 

Like any fan of any band that has stayed the course, and stuck around, the idea of a “reunion album” or a new album is always a mixed bag, with the results more often than not feeling underwhelming. It’s hard for artists, especially musicians in a field like “rock” music to replicate the very thing that made them badasses with which to begin; you can’t recreate youthful exuberance or the sort of energy from your teens and twenties or even thirties. 

But Hum wrote and recorded and released what is likely their best and most comprehensive album by doing exactly what they should have done: leaning into what made them influential and exciting to start, and then constructing and deconstructing and reconstructing just nine songs into what is going to be known as a masterpiece from now until forever. 

In particular, and even moreso if you are a Hum fan, the song “In The Den” finds the band in perfect form; the final five minutes of “Desert Rambler” is what a basically perfect song like “I Hate It Too” might have been with years to consider what makes a crescendo into a CRESCENDO. “The Summoning” is actually frightening in some ways, based on how well crafted each part of each section of the song ends up. 

There weren’t a lot of albums released locally this year, and for good reason, as we’re all firmly aware. But honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered who put out what as far as being considered “the best” in a subjective post about such a thing. Anyone with any sense of taste in rock music understands how well regarded and how influential a band like Hum is; that they’ve now just released their magnum opus after four albums of grade A material is a showcase that some bands age like fine wine. Or in this case, like well tequila with a chaser of sativa. 

Indeed, this is rock music as it is intended to be recorded and heard on big ass speakers, and I am grateful to have had these tunes to help me through a very very weird fucking year. (Seth Fein)

Top image by Hum.

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