Call it unfair, but former Phoenicians-turned-Washingtonians Hooves have always garnered more attention for their hotel trashing and indie-rock bowling debacles than for their music. Sure, this publication is probably the most to blame for the reputation, but when it comes down to it, we've always been fans of the music first and foremost. Fetch, Little Doggie, the band's brand-new album, demonstrates why the band's bad behavior has always been an interesting side note to the music. Featuring expansive space rock like the Led Zep-via-David Bowie "Animal Mother," charming roots pop like "Love Letter Lisp" (with a kind of ramshackle melody that could appeal to fans of Dr. Dog), and a spooky Dr. John-on-weirder-drugs swamp-soul number, "Old Fashioned Way." If you're worried that the band has forgotten the classic rock sounds of Greater Aspirations, Lower Expectations, don't fret — "No Use for Dying" and "Shit Kickers" have that sound down, but with a smart emphasis on melody and soul. The keyboards are turned up, the vocals are howling, and the grooves are plainly chooglin'. The sounds of Fetch prove that while Hooves may be serious about having a good time, they're serious about backing it up with tunes, too.
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