Russ Hopkins – Space Junk Motel

By Emily Clingman

2 1/2 stars

Intro-ing with a heartfelt tribute to his native Colorado in Pot of Gold, Hopkins fails to come out the gate running. The second song, More, just wasn’t enough to bring this compilation up to speed. There’s no doubt that Hopkins is passionate about the beauty of his beloved nature and how much he loathes the concrete jungle and toxic dumps, his lyrics are cliché and predictable; his guitar rhythms unadorned. The music itself picks up a bit in Primordial, but the lyrical gist was unimaginative—typical watched-you-walk-out-the-door stuff, literally. Vocally, there’s energy behind Hopkin’s vocals, but overall, there seemed to be a slight lack of cohesion between his tune, the guitar’s tune and the rhythms. Different Girl played around with some vocal harmonies, which was nice. I Am Sam is creepy (I’ll kick your dog, I might go postal…) and sounds like a Neil Young knock-off. Got The Old Black Dog is a decent attempt at some old-school Muddy Waters-style blues. He wraps it up with a slow, melancholy song about wanting to be buried in the desert. Figures.