Fischer is a hugely influential band for me. Their brand of aggressively anxious emo-tinged punk got me through some of the best and worst times. I put them on whenever I need a blueprint for killer songwriting and inventiveness. Since Fischer’s dissolution, singer/guitarist Jason Brownstein has kept busy drumming for Joyride! and playing bass in hardcore outfit Permanent Ruin. Hey Hallways (named for a Fischer tune) are a return to Brownstein’s inquisitive roots: “What was it like when I was young?… / Was I the good son? / We lose so much every time we tell someone to go.” The hooks on these five songs are clear, even if the quality is bedroom lo-fi and Brownstein’s voice is achingly subdued with a sleepy inflection. Although this is more low key and solemn than Fischer, I’m reminded of The Weakerthans, where the vocals and lyrics are the central focus. Hey Hallways just might make the most indifferent person feel something.
–Sean Arenas (Salinas, salinasrecords.com)