Thirteen tracks of spunky bar-band/melodic-punk pop in 32 minutes from three D.C.-area guys. It’s not world-beating stuff, but it’s not really meant to be; this is music at its least pretentious. Hoover’s G-String is a band that’s not afraid to do a song called “The Ballad of Mrs. Santa Claus,” and have it be maybe even actually about Mrs. Santa Claus. I think. Maybe not. Okay, so that one’s confusing… but at least it’s not pretentious!
Several of these tunes are little instrumental snippets that don’t really go anywhere, and others are little jokesy numbers that probably work great live. But this band shines brightest when they’re putting things together to try to touch the heart and the head. “Laszlo’s Theme” is a weepy little number about economic reality getting in the way of romance; “Bakersfield Revisited” gets by on its “She’s gone / To California” hook, sung wistfully by Jeff Reinholz; “Blowing Through a Stop Sign” is like Blink-182 or Green Day on not-selling-out-oids.
But the best song here is “Tommy Keene’s Blues.” Its narrator is a music geek who’s going out with a woman who doesn’t appreciate music: “She’s into coffee grounds / She’s never even heard of Pet Sounds / She thinks that Marvin Gaye / Is a Broadway play.” But the last straw is when she won’t go with him to see Bethesda’s minor ’80s-and-early-’90s era power-pop figure Tommy Keene, even though it might be the last time to see him headline. Dude: you must break up with her. Right now. That’s just foul.
I hear Tommy Keene’s on the comeback trail. I can only hope that Hoover’s G-String keeps trying so that they can get famous enough to someday come back like their idol.
Hoover’s G-String: http://www.hooversgstring.com