The Hooves – Fetch, Little Doggie
The Hooves’ Fetch, Little Doggie is a reminder – Pat Boone notwithstanding – that there is some great cabaret infused rockabilly-ish acts out there. If you are a fan of blithe, generally less intense, without a hint of self indulgence, yet occasionally satirical, paranoid free music with nodes toward Zez Confrey to Captain Beefheart, all the way forward to Tom Waits, then this Doggie is your pet.
“All Friends” (track one) sets the tone for Doggie well. Its upbeat smear of bluesy guitar, infectious horns, Hammond organ and bouncy piano provides the backing for hopeful, positive, tongue in cheek life-affirming lyrics that manage to avoid treading overly cheery ground. This is just a great intro song – you will find yourself singing along with it. The entire Doggie album comes across guiltily entertaining, fun, energetic, confident, and catchy.
Hooves are clearly driven by incredible energy and “roots of rock” attitudes, and I imagine they must be a band that can only be fully enjoyed through a live set, as they come across on this album as a group of restless inventive musicians. I think this band is so full of character, with strong abilities to craft melodic noise that one could imagine that they could fall down stairs and the resulting sound may be worth listening to.
As catchy and well-crafted as these songs are, they never feel restricted or overly polished, which is great. However, I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbells!