Hospital Bombers may hail from Amsterdam, but they sound like a bunch of Canucks. Like the Weakerthans, the four-piece approach pop/punk in a folky way, at times making use of slower tempos, wordy lyrics and non-traditional rock instrumentation, notably violin lines in the vein of Owen Pallett. The peppier tunes share the upbeat drive of Vancouver's Salteens.
All combined, a sense of manic fun is achieved on their scrappy debut, Footnotes, especially on tracks Theme, Neighbourhood and Kittens.
Downsides include a lack of dynamics and monotony in the vocal melodies (let the girl sing more!). There's room for lyrical maturation, too; punk not being dead and the evils of listening to "devil's music" are oddly old-fashioned themes for such a young band.
Catch Hospital Bombers at Sneaky Dee's on Wednesday (October 29).