"THIS IS THE SOUND OF..."
"I’d never heard Drazy Hoops before This is the Sound of… and am unlikely to forget ‘em. The new album from the New York City-based group is wryly amusing, creative, and likely to endure. DH’s brilliantly sexy cover of Devo’s 'Whip It' makes me smile, and several tunes, including opener 'Baby You Gave Me More,' feel like tongue-in-cheek spins on alt. goth country inflections. While DH doesn’t sound much like Captain Beefheart, I’m not surprised to learn it’s named after that phrase in Beefheart’s 'The Blimp.' It obviously aims for a similar combination of heartfelt ingenuousness with wit and artistry. Highly recommended; perhaps starting with standout 'I Am Going To Bring You All Together.' The chord changes on that verge on the sublime. Oh, and another hint: Giant Sand fans are likely to heart this."
"There's a lot to sink your teeth into here...fourteen tracks total that clock in at close to forty-four minutes. Twelve of the tracks are originals while two are interestingly chosen cover tunes. Drazy chose to include his versions of Eno's 'Golden Hours' and Devo's 'Whip It'...both of which come across surprisingly well and fit perfectly within the context of this album. But the original songs are the real meat here. Hoops writes well-crafted laid back songs that are memorable and real...and he's got a great unpretentious voice that really pushes things to the next level. Cool reflective cuts include 'Baby You Gave Me More,' 'I Am Going To Bring You Together,' 'Baby Jesus,' and 'Oh How It's Good To Be Home.'"
"The album is comprised of short songs with country twang and low, grumbly vocals. Packed full of talented musicians...This Is The Sound Of… isn’t an optimistic album; it is a good album to be sad to... This alternative Americana album includes two covers, Devo's 'Whip It' and Brian Eno’s 'Golden Hours.' 'Golden Hours' works well and is an interesting take, it’s warmer and more organic than Eno’s robotic original. Booming-yet-soft percussion and sweet backing vocals from Lauren Balthrup add drama to the track. 'Whip It' takes on a creepy, sinister tone with Hoops’ low voice and delivery. ...The album’s stand-out song is 'I Ain’t Never Pressed to Bother,' a funky, swinging song that fits the Hoops’ low drawl well. It’s packed with guitar effects that keep it interesting."
Surviving The Golden Age
"The NYC-based songwriter doesn’t use a lot of bells-and-whistles laced grammar on his song 'I Am Going To Bring You Together,' but he doesn’t need to in order to create something powerful. As he sings at various points throughout the song, “I was going to wait on this/but it’s hard time or eternal bliss/and I’m gonna’ to bring you together…and in the valley of my way/echo the words I used to say/and with this painful price we pay/I’m happy for another day…”with white shirt and shiny shoes/hard time and a burned out blues/I’m gonna’ to bring you together.” Say what you will about it, but in our modern day post-recession society the song’s sheer, against-all-odds optimism is comparable to that of 'All You Need Is Love' 46 years prior.
Hoops intones all of this with a low, breathy vocal delivery that seems to roll like molasses across his lips and through the speakers. The rest of the band churns along in an understated Americana-laced groove that utilizes some well places electric guitar lines and vibrato heavy organs to create a backdrop that feels appropriate to his voice and the songs subject matter.
Striker Bill review
"INTO THE RED"
"Little known singer-songwriter Drazy Hoops' seventh full-length release "Into The Red" is a real gem that in a perfect world would sit on all the hip critics' rear end lists. There is much to love here, with shades of artists like Tinderstick, Uncle Tupelo, Richard Buckner, and Ryan Adams mixed and stirred with Chicago/New York/ singer/songwriter Drazy Hoops' own alt.country stylings. Tracks like "Don't Be Fooled" and "We Love You All" have a gritty, moody feel recalling the early days of alt.country, but then a track like "I Have To Admit I've Got A Problem" comes along like a sassy younger sibling: it's a back-to-basics pop song, with Hoops singing barely above a whisper, until the guitars and rhythm section slowly move from a trot to a gallop, and his dry, flat tone takes on an airy cheeriness in a ridiculously infectious chorus. When you hear "This Is Real Love" for the third time, the tune wraps around you like an old friend, with the warm slide guitar and Hoops' denouncements begging for a sing-along: "Well, if you don't mind, i just won't try to deny, This is real love, and not just time passing by..." Hoops' lyrics are strong, his melodies even stronger, and his muddiest growl and bluesiest arrangements can't hide the joy in his amazing songs."
Hoops…..charms a crowd without the indignity of trying
to do so: he respects his
audience enough to spare them the boringness of shtick. Rather,
he just straight ahead performs captivatingly pretty, sometimes
hilariously acrimonious... and sometimes emphatically rocking
melodies.... equipped with surprisingly sumptuous, breathy vocals
that span soul falsetto to that VU grumble growl... Drazy and
his band...warbled, strummed, and drummed through a handsome
edifying set full of subtle virtuosity. Drazy sort of purred,
twanging with infectious world-weariness. Rich, deep, and skilled,
his voice assumes an emotional stance with amazing facility…I
was struck by the hard country timbres……and by
the gorgeous falsettos."
The Village Voice
ON THE HATE"
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
band blends classic pop elements akin to the later releases by
The Beatles as well as American psychedelia...What I love most
about this album is the clever balance of instruments that coalesce
so effortlessly into 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... throughout, this album relies on Drazy's extremely
talented guitar playing and penchant for clever, infectious melodies...
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...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)."
" Cosmic cowboy Drazy Hoops melds punk, roots rock, blues, and alternative
pop on Bring On the Hate, a wandering collection of songs brimming with spirited
performances, understated melodies, and romantic yearning. Rendering his musings
with a relaxed baritone that floats above the music, Hoops views the world through
kaleidoscope eyes, preaching psychedelic bliss in " The Moon Lies" and
warning anyone who'll listen of the perils of reckless sexual abandon in "Feel
the Snake." Not hesitant to display syrupy sentiment in the title track
or a dour bottom-of-a-shot-glass take on the futility of life in "A World
Away," Hoops revels in his role as a philosopher and a crooner. With a rhythm
section that punctuates Hoops' daydream beliefs via crisp solos and lush textures,
Bring On the Hate is a genre-transgressing disc that catches the listener off
4 stars ****All Music Guide
" Beautiful melodies, depth and substance...passionate, intelligent lyrics,
cutting edge musicianship."
Bucket Full Of Brains, UK
Infinite Starlight is an ace album of tracks the evoke the better
elements of British psychedelia… what makes this album so
much fun is Drazy Hoops' voice. He blends J Mascis' slacker and
Dave Berman's mystic detachment on songs that positively shimmer.
The production and arrangements are spotless and highlight Drazy
Hoops' considerable skill as a songwriter. It is difficult to not
see this as a harbinger for significant releases to come."
here's quite a surprise…with a title like The Infinite Starlight
I figured this one would last about three minutes. Boy was I wrong!
Drazy sounds a whole lot like Boston in general and Evan Dando
in particular. He seems to be affecting his voice somewhat, but
it's pretty damn compelling. He's got a pretty good bunch of players
backing him up, too...There's a whole lot of J. Mascis in here
as well… this is a really solid record. "
New York Hangover
It's a tune by Tindersticks, Son Volt or an old Stones ballad,
there's always room on your mixed tape for a lonely song, and guitarist
Drazy Hoops stands to be crowned the genre's king. Hoops is a graceful,
confident song-writer, and Straight To Black sounds like the end
of the party - a great one where not much got broken and the pretty
girl with the tattoo stayed and almost seemed to like you.
Beatle-ish blend of sophisticated melody, sing-along choruses and
la-la-la ginger bread…with none of the cliches and all the
poetry befitting an adept artist...Cue this up and feel your loneliness
may remember Drazy Hoops, who takes his name from a song on Captain
Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, from the band Atomic Cafe (perhaps
not). Either way, you should note that his new release, Straight
to Black …showcases Hoops' low, smooth, and hypnotic vocals,
which work perfectly over the catchy, streamlined, minimalist pop.
I would suggest catching him if he happens to be anywhere near
your town, as he is an artist that, in a just world, would be enormously
The Gavin Report
properly shaped, good ideas grow into ingenious concepts. Straight
To Black transcends genre and style while traversing the like-minded
genius of Captain Beefheart, Nick Drake, Tom Waits, David Bowie
and Beck, just to name a few...Turn the lights down low, crank
up the volume and head for the deep end of the pool. The water's
fine and there's no reason to come up for air."