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Culture Shock


Released 3/8/2016

Rating 5/7

If you’ve spent any time going to house shows in Bloomington, chances are you’ve been cramped in someone’s living room while Hoops played a few songs. The quartet is making synth-laden psych-pop tunes that sound akin to music from TOPS and Foxygen via And Star Power.

Their latest release, Tape #3, is five tracks long and clocks in under thirteen minutes. It kicks off with “4U Pt. 2” The focal points are the bass-heavy beat and deadpan vocals. It’s probably the most reminiscent of Hoops’s beginnings as an ambient noise project. The next track, “All My Life” has a more pop-like structure with a distorted guitar taking center-stage. It’s an upbeat tune and has a dream-like quality that seems to float through the whole tape.

Next up comes “Underwater Theme” which is an apt descriptor. It’s a super-distorted track that sounds like something you might hear at the bottom of your neighbor’s swimming pool. The bass adds a really thick texture to the tune. “I’m Hurting” is a speedy song that contrasts with the previous “Underwater Theme.” This one sounds more frantic. There’s a real sense of urgency on this track, and it’s definitely a moment of tension on this otherwise pretty chill tape. For me, “I’m Hurting” is probably the most emotive track on the record and it’s an easy song to identify with. It’s a nice digression.

Hoops finishes up the tape on a high note. “Feelin’ Fine” is a shimmery track that sounds like the transition between spring and summer. It’s a jam session that doesn’t get too out of hand. The guitar weaves its way through the track and guides us to the end of the tape. “Feelin’ Fine” is definitely a track to put on your summertime road-trip playlist (which of course you have). While Hoops isn’t exactly charting new territory on this tape, it’s a solid record with some glimpses of where they could be headed in the near future.

You can listen to Tape #3 here:

And if you like what you hear, be sure to check Hoops out at Culture Shock on April 9!


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