Do you need smoothy groovy jingle to jangle to? Well if you do, then Hoozbah is the band for you. Their 2019 full-length release Do Better is nothing but boogie and cool. It is music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s wrapped in a super tasty burrito warmed with pure love. The tunes are easy to move to, well-produced, and excellently written. Hoozbah is an absolute gem of the Montreal scene.
You will get the picture right off the rip. “Funny Little Situation,” delivers some crunchy guitar tones that sound like they’re coming from some blown-out combo amps from the 60s. They ring very much like the tone Queens of the Stone Age dialled in for their single “The Way You Used To Do.” The vocals run cool and clean with the swagger of vocalists like Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. Humming organ pads run through the back and provide a great float for the rest of the music. Groovy basslines and washy drums complete the perfect wave of sound to surf.
The array of instruments used in this album is impressive, and the boogie it creates is outrageous. “Slip n’ Slide” starts with a ridiculously funky piano/harmonica infused jamboree that will make your face scrunch up like Robert De Niro. The band also slips some saxophone into the crunchy outro ever so subtly. Not only is the music great but the lyrics match the mood as they leak out over the grooves in a light and heartfelt spill.
“Tell Me Something” is exactly what I mean. The warm buzz of the organ, the silky ring of an acoustic guitar, and some vocal arrangements made of angel tears will immediately melt your heart. At this point, you’re halfway across this gorgeous rainbow and you’ve reached the part where things get fluffy. A string of soothing love songs, written with tears from the 50s, gently pulls you through the next phase of the album. Hoozbah showcases their versatile and genuine sound with a swing that goes from dancefloor hit to a Grease ballad.
Rounding the final corner of this album is a couple of bangers. “Kneel” comes through with some major Sheepdogs vibes. It is a bluesy and soulful build out from the tranquil middle section of the album. Again, the vocal arrangements flow impeccably and are delivered with a nice cadence. “The Statement” follows up with a ten-minute statement of its own. The two songs overlap and flow right into each other, and man is it a great transition. The latter is a retro scoop of seafoam green pistachio ice cream. It takes you through all the stops and has you dancing at one point and floating on a waterbed the next. It is like a sour patch kid, sour and rude but also tasty and sweet. A theatrical interlude runs into the outro song, “Champagne Cocaine,” which everyone should enjoy as a celebration of having listened to this wonderful album.
Hoozbah will be performing in Montreal September 11th, 2019 at Brasserie Beaubien. Do your life better and go catch this show.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Mike Milito