Monday, June 12, 2017

The Real Hooks - Damn You (2017)

Written by Montey Zike, posted by blog admin

Artwork by Odandiee

The newest release from the musical Hooks family and their band The Real Hooks, “Damn You”, continues to capitalize on the same powerful combination of melody, mood, chemistry, and humor that’s brought them into the national spotlight. They made some exceptionally wise choices along the way that’s further helped them develop commercial momentum. The most recent intelligent move they made came with the decision to open up their songwriting options rather than keeping them exclusively “in-house”. It pays big dividends on this cut – it’s co-written with respected songwriter Mark Spiro, a composer whose work with performers as diverse as Lita Ford and Anne Murray, among others, has generates over 100 million units in sales. Lead singer and guitarist Kyle Hooks remains the focal point of the band’s musical presentation, but his siblings and father are formidable talents in their own rights and, taken together, they make a mammoth impact.

Any band capable of actually playing their instruments can whip up sonic energy. Some bands, however, betray how laborious it is for them  in the paint by numbers way they approach those moments. There’s none of that with The Real Hooks. “Damn You” has genuine energy born from the effortless and natural chemistry these players share. Kyle Hooks is the obvious front man and lead vocalist, but the band achieves an effortless vocal blend and the harmonies are among the most notable aspects of the work. The guitar jangle defining much of the track comes from electric and acoustic both and nicely timed piano fills further flesh out the song’s melodic possibilities. The band shows real sensitivity to match their playfulness and the phrasing often defining the vocal makes this an uplifting musical moment as well as underscoring the track’s understated humor.

The lyrical content delivers on that understated humor, but their playfulness is never childish or sophomoric. “Damn You” has lyrics capable of making you smile because they know exactly how to orchestrate those potential humorous moments so that they dovetail neatly with the arrangement and, especially, the vocals. They are ideally suited at every turn. The track, likewise, has a pleasing sense of completeness. They never try our patience and run on too long but, moreover, they offer up an unified and polished bit of songwriting that has everything it needs for making audiences happy, is built for live performance, and doesn’t feel like it is missing a single part. “Damn You” is The Real Hooks’ finest effort to date and promises greater things to come for a band that’s already accomplished much in a short amount of time.

Grade: A

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