CD Review – Troubled Hubble – Penturbia

Troubled Hubble
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There comes a time in many people’s lives when the colossal skyscrapers and the smoggy air of urban life becomes too much to handle. When it’s high time to make a play for the cookie-cutter communities of suburbia. But what do you do when even the bevy of picket fencedom becomes too stressful a lifestyle? Why, it’s off to Penturbia, of course.

Penturbia — the term to describe the acres of open-spaced, nature loving communities hidden away in Middle America — is the album title and self-proclaimed way of life for the happiest indie-rock band around, Troubled Hubble. The band’s fourth release in as many years is heavily influenced by the hidden Illinois community it calls home.

Perturbia conveys the childlike wonder these boyhood friends greet each day with. The opening track, “Understanding Traffic,” is a package of swirling guitar chords, slappy snares and a passionate description of normal driving techniques that may be better comprehended by animal-kind. The song sets the tone for a carefree, but tight and complete album.

“Nancy” is a perky guitar-pop tune that offers the advice, “What inspires you should entire you/Live how you want to be loved.” “You Stay Here I’ll Go Get Help,” about how to react to the different emergencies a person may have to deal with, is flanked by a retro keyboard. See a pattern yet? Neither do I, but I have the sudden urge to move to Elburn, Illinois.

Next is “I Love My Canoe,” a song with an upbeat musical dynamic infused with Hubble’s playful innocence that makes it a true childish epic. And they aren’t kidding about their feelings for canoeing. The band is a regular entry in the annual “Mid-American Canoe Race.” Forget drugs, there’s a new indulgence craze sweeping the music world.

Unfortunately, Troubled Hubble won’t be coming to a town near you, seeing as they perform exclusively in the upper Midwest. But, if my most stressful daily concern was the hope that the local animals understood common roadway behavior, I wouldn’t want to leave, either.

Contact Nick Margiassoat