K. H. Orton | New York, NY USA | 11/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the 80's, I was a huge fan of early REM. Apparently, REM were fans of this band. Sadly & despite a steady following, Winter Hours dissolved before they acheived the national recognition they deserved. I only know of 2 albums by them: the ep collection,TILL THE MORNING COMES & this eponymously titled 2nd release. Both are out of print, but bootleg or used copies can be tracked down.
Though one could superficially compare them to REM, musically & lyrically they surpass. But any such comparisons really sell The Hours short. I'd say they drew on such diverse influences as the Byrds, Television, Big Star, Gram Parsons & Richard Thompson era Fairport Convention.
Subtlety was the name of their game & like Nick Drake, these melodic songs take their time to shyly reveal themselves. In other words, you have to go to them, they're not going to go to you. Once that happens, the rewards are endless. Mike Carlucci's guitar playing is formidable & late vocalist, Joseph Marques' baritone is unaffected, low key & haunting. For what it lacks in MORNING'S "Hyacinth Girl" & "Island Of Jewels" it makes up for with "Smoke Rings" & Carpenter's Square". The lyrics & melody of the opener, "Roadside Flowers" capture things at their most exemplary.
An ever growing cult following is forming around these guys & for good reason. They should be more well known. It's about time someone got the bright idea of reissuing them. (Until then, fans will just have to be content with the Main Man records tribute due for release in early '09).
One of the best bands you never heard.
comedreja | depths of the west | 07/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Found this one in the dollar vinyl bin at Amoeba. Got lucky. Great band. Previous reviewer summed it up nicely. Like a cross between Big Star and maybe The Flying Burrito Bros plus their own signature style. Great songwriting, singing and overall musicianship. Pick it up!"