Bring On the Hate
If you’re looking for a reason to still believe in the power of music, you need look no further than Bring On the Hate, the latest release from Drazy Hoops. Although this is not so much a band as it is the talents of one man, Drazy Hoops still relies on a wealth of talent in his choice of supporting musicians. The band remains flexible throughout, as Drazy draws from a wide palette, and they are capable of supporting the diverse styles he welds together on this strong, solid disc. In addition, this disc benefits from a much stronger production than his previous release as well as Drazy’s considerable growth in songwriting, and singing. So, what does it sound like?
The band blends classic pop elements akin to the later releases by The Beatles as well as American psychedelia. Along with these stylings, flourishes of cello steel and slide guitars and violins all blend together. One song may be a raving rocker only to be immediately followed by a mellow, low tempo ode to love lost. This, of course, isn’t to indicate that the album is inconsistent. Far from it, throughout this album relies on Drazy’s extremely talented guitar playing and penchant for clever, infectious melodies. Above all, like the finest of pop craftsmen, Drazy doesn’t belabor a point and is capable of creating a solid song chop, full of hooks, that is lean and doesn’t cross over into the four-minute mark.
What I love most about this album is the clever balance of instruments that coalesce so effortlessly into a graceful, fun songs that are sincere, catchy and above all, intelligent. Tracks like “The Sun God’s Laughing” by all rights should be a hit across the nation. “Soul Like the Sun” is, next to American Music Club’s “Hula Maiden,” one of the most achingly beautiful songs that fairly shimmer on the slide guitar. The title track, “Bring On the Hate” is a classic kiss-off to a relationship gone sour that clocks in just over two and half minutes.
Lastly, although the album is entitled Bring On the Hate, this album is not another exercise in self-flagellation or public exhibition of private demons. One thing you will find is that beneath the melodies, Drazy’s lyrics usually express a cautious optimism and delight in the world. At the end of the day, and the end of this album, one senses that the world is just a little bit better for having listened to this album (and for having Drazy around for making it). As he says on “A World Away:: “But I’m still trying not living for dying/And I’m hoping that you understand/Sometimes life is just balancing on sharp knives/And I’m doing just the best that I can.”