Greg Hoy is one of those creative creatures who does it all: singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, designer, and indie label owner. He’s put out dozens of records under many monikers, cranking out power pop, rockabilly, and heavy riff rock, working both sides of the control room glass. In between, he jumps in a vintage Airstream RV and tours whenever the time is right, which seems like always.
But his latest single, “Green,” makes it glaringly obvious that there’s one thing this West Coaster can’t do: Greg Hoy couldn’t toss off an undercooked idea or a phoned-in sort-of-song to save his life. There’s a wide-eyed immaturity in all of his work that gleefully manifests itself in youthful, livewire energy and up-for-anything bravado – without any of the, well, immaturity.
Hoy’s fans in the press read like a wish list for every indie band that’s hijacked a garage in the last 20 years: everyone from Punk Planet and Big Takeover, to Time Out and the late, beyond-great Village Voice shout him out as breathlessly as if they’d just walked out of his show. Greg Hoy & The Boys is a loose collection of friends he calls on to give a backbeat and a bassline to his fuzzed-out rock ‘n roll daydreams. True to form, “Green” is pop perfection and zero pretension.
Killer hooks might get a great rock song into your head, but what keeps it there is the way it elevates a simple pleasure to the most important thing in the world. “Green” is a song about a girl, sure, but the euphoric fuzz, melodic punk, and propulsion contained within these three minutes hit the listener like a wake-up call to jam more life into their life. She’s the dancing, elusive, and yes, beautiful embodiment of pure joy. Hoy brings her to life over a track bursting at the seams with distorted, hooky abandon, with subtle nods to masters like The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Guided By Voices, and Superdrag. “Green” and the Enjoy the View EP was recorded mostly live by studio brainiac and curmudgeonly indie icon Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey) and mixed by the legendary Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers).
A woman with striking red hair and an emerald dress dances down the halls of a well-appointed Brooklyn hotel, then up to the rooftop to move and flow against the borough’s skyline. She’s got a devil-may-care thing going on, so we can’t even be sure she didn’t sneak in. But if that’s the case, all the better: she belongs here, moving and posturing with a wild freedom and joyful intensity against her pretty but tame environments. The band meanwhile rocks it out at downtown NYC’s snug, venerated Pianos bar. It’s the perfect room for a kickass power trio to play just a little too loud, and it makes us think we probably missed a really good show. Greg Hoy & The Boys are not an act to miss them next time they’re in town, and in the meantime, pull up “Green” whenever your day could use some jumper cables.