Published Aug 25, 2016Much-hyped for a band who have only released cassettes thus far, Bloomington, Indiana four-piece lo-fi Hoops have finally dropped their self-titled EP, a carefree slice of jaunty, guitar-driven pop.
Hoops delivers an impressive range of sounds that gel tightly under one stylistic umbrella. Opening track "Cool 2" has a shimmering, almost luminescent sound that sums up the band neatly in less than two minutes, before mellowing out for the downtempo "Yeah."
Over five tracks, Hoops switch modes rapidly, but not jarringly. "Going Strong" offers frenetic yet hazy major key guitars, while "Give It Time" follows that up by highlighting the band's origins as an ambient solo project for guitarist Drew Auscherman. Closing track "Gemini" is the standout, taking the album's previous layered walls of sound and adding a psychedelic twist.
Hoops offer a well-rounded, crisp sound, but it's a little hard to shake the feeling of having heard the EP's various components before. Maybe it's the whole "white guys doing jangly inoffensive pop" aesthetic, or it could be the similarities to other guitar-heavy pop groups like Real Estate or Montreal's TOPS. But the EP delivers a heady atmosphere that outweighs any doubts about Hoops' ability to innovate a well-trod guitar pop sound. (Fat Possum)