Tim Finn Listens to Hippo Campus Good Dog, Bad Dream

Tim Finn Listens to Hippo Campus Good Dog, Bad Dream

Posted by Timothy Finn (For over 20 years Tim was the Music Editor for the Kansas City Star and currently contributes to In Kansas City magazine and 90.9 the Bridge.) on 7th Sep 2021

HIPPO CAMPUS || Good Dog, Bad Dream

This five-pack of bright, sweet, catchy, crunchy and slightly-off-kilter electro-/indie-pop tunes from this Minnesota quintet nails its goals in a brief and breezy 15 minutes. They use every moment wisely, filling each with pep, vigor and enough innovation to keep the dynamics percolating and the music trail astray from cliches or predictable progressions.

A few surprises lie in wait, the most pleasant of which is “Where To Now,” which starts with a bungee bass line and vocal that recall heyday New Order. “Mojo Jojo” flits, bobs and weaves at high speed for nearly three hyper-kinetic minutes. “Sex Tape” is a droll burst of fake braggadocio in which the singer thanks Christian moms and boasts that what he's recorded is likely worthy of a Sundance trophy – all set to a melody and groove that are hard to resist.

Much of what's on the menu here is ephemeral and loaded with empty calories: a tangy sugar rush that sates the sweet tooth then evaporates. But if one measure of success is the fulfillment of intentions, then give this dog a biscuit and a pat on the head for a trick well done.