(Gypsy Farm Records) A full decade after their debut garage-rock crusher Lemonland, The Humms return from the dead with Vampire Hours, a 14-track trip through the realms of twang-tinged folk and dark psychedelia. The long-awaited sophomore album was crafted by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Zeke Sayer (Shoal Creek Stranglers, The Ice Creams) at his Gypsy Farm home recording studio, housed within the historic Clem’s Shoal Creek Music Park in Lavonia. It’s only natural for all of the legendary country and bluegrass performers who graced the stage in decades past to have had some influence over Sayer’s upbringing and musicianship, but if ever the veil is thin, it somehow also feels plausible that the spectral energy, lore and memories from within that spectacular space should sonically infiltrate the recordings as well. The result is a collection of songs that are hauntingly beautiful and authentically strange. While “Lady Low” stomps familiar garage rock ground and “Merry Days” reminisces through a melodic psych pop lens, others (“Sun Tunnel,” “Fangs,” “Blue Bite,” “Miss No One”) feel like cinematic impressions of daydreams. Much less frenetic than Lemonland, Vampire Hours coyly growls and saunters through the complexities of mortality and wickedness with an accepting, comforting gentleness.
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