Monday, October 05, 2009

Hockey review for JC Report

Put A Record On: Hockey's Undefinable Sound
October 5th, 2009 | Portland

Portland quintet Hockey brings together the best musical influences of the past decade. Their Myspace page may label the music as new wave and soul, but on debut album Mind Chaos, there's also a strong hint of LCD Soundsystem's drumbeats, The Rapture's bass chords and even The Strokes' garage rock sensibilities.

Like so many other bands today, Hockey refuses to be labelled and put in a corner. Mind Chaos draws inspiration from all over the musical spectrum, be it Talking Heads or Primal Scream. Music journalists are competing with witty references and imaginative name droppings to describe the Hockey sound, including "MGMT meets U2" and "Arcade Fire with dancing shoes," but the beauty of Hockey is that the band can't be pinned down. Instead we define them by the music, rather than their heroes.

"Too Fake," the album's opening song, beautifully features singer Benjamin Grubin's clever lyrics over his bandmates' tight funk grooves. The track's inherent catchiness is a hard act to follow, but the rest of the album puts in a good effort: "Preacher" boasts a strong piano melody, "Curse This City" mixes guitar riffs with Timbaland-esque drum machine beats and "3am Spanish" is another example of Grubin's excellent way with words.

Mind Chaos is now out. For more information, see

—David Hellqvist

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