Hooker - 5 Track Demo

Hooker are one of those bands that make me wish I was a producer. I can hear areas that I would love to hear them explore, and other areas that they would need to avoid. I guess this is why I am reviewing it though, so I can get all "snobby" on them and tell them how they should run their band. It's a sad life I lead at times. Hopefully though, for their sake (in my opinion) they will use this demo as a guide, and they will find the areas that need improvement.

As a sound, Hooker are not all that distant from an early, rough version of Aerosmith: a little bluesy at times, and a voice that sounds like Steven Tyler before he gained experience in the studio and on the stage. The vocalist Clancy needs to give a little more "oomph" to his vocals at times, he has the voice, he just almost seems to lack the confidence to push it further. Guitar wise, they need a second guitarist or they need to figure out how to work it in the studio a bit more to add more depth.

The demo starts off with a fine rocker in the song "Slip 'n' Slide" and shows that things could move along nicely. Then song 2, "Backstreet", comes on. This was the song that really kicked into me that these guys need a second guitarist or a producer. The song is too thin as is, with the riffs relying on the drums sticking to the high hat. With that going on, and there being only one guitar, the song loses any energy that could have been there. A second guitar, or the drums using the toms with some hand claps, would have turned the song into a really nice piece. See, there is that "producer" thing creeping into my mind. I needed a different profession.

Song 3 is where the band shows how good they could be, and surprisingly enough for me, it's a borderline ballad. It's one of those "slow burn" style tunes the best RnR/Blues bands in the late 80's would do, a song Aerosmith would have done brilliantly before they turned to pure commercial crap. But again, if I had my say with this one, the ending needs to have a killer guitar solo running over it, filling out the 5+ minutes that drags a little in the end, with the same thing being done over and over. It's a fine end, it just needs a little more to it.

The rest of the demo finishes as it starts, with some decent rocking tunes. The last song, "Tie Me Down" is probably my second favorite, again showing promise for future material from these guys.

At the bands website I see they have some song samples, of them being the songs on this demo. If they are the full songs, I am not sure. But even if they are samples, you will get a good idea of what the band is about. If you like the old Aerosmith style, give them a shot, you might like them. They are not a bad band by any means, and this is not a bad release at all, it just sounds a little unfinished.

6 out of 10

by Carl Isonhart

Visit the Hooker Website