Good Dog, Bad Dream is a collection of songs that came together with ease, and without pressure — a wildly different experience than the typical Hippo Campus recording process. Hippo Campus – made up of vocalist/guitarists Jake Luppen and Nathan Stocker, drummer Whistler Allen, bassist Zach Sutton, and trumpeter DeCarlo Jackson — assembled Good Dog, Bad Dream with a genuine sense of freedom and enjoyment. It’s also the first music that the band has recorded in their new Minneapolis studio space.
And in that, there’s a sense of elation – translated here via a lot of screaming — which reaches back to the early days of Hippo Campus. There’s also a galvanizing live band element on these songs. They wanted to come away with something that was referential to their earlier catalog, but with a contemporary take on it that made sense with who they are today.
Good Dog, Bad Dream is tragic, but it’s funny. It’s intense and honest, confident and vulnerable and strange. It’s stasis, a homecoming, Minnesota summers with the windows down and “The Boys are Back in Town” on the radio and the haunts you always used to go to with your friends. It’s disillusioned and manic and anxious, but it’s also catharsis, the joy of making music with your friends in a studio and feeling like, somehow, anything is possible. It’s a celebration of brotherhood, and the “all for one, one for all” mentality that has permeated Hippo Campus’ work since the very beginning.