My Special One is Greg Hoy's own challenge to himself: can a man isolate himself for 48 hours in San Francisco and make a fun, listenable rock and roll record that doesn't sound rushed? The short answer is yes, yes he can.The longer answer requires more background on Hoy. My Special One is the newest addition to more than 30 of his recordings, including numbers with Steve Albini, John Vanderslice and Glenn Branca's Symphony for 100 Guitars. Hoy's set-up is simple: steady drumming first, guitar and bass second. He plays all three himself then mixes them via laptop. He's no stranger to the modern trappings of the one-man band or being a part of an orchestral movement. So when Hoy decided on a whim to limit his musical creativity and technical abilities to a two-day span, did he think he could do it? Oh, yes.
My Special One drips with confidence for its entire less-than 15 minutes. The steady drumming anchors the sublime bass and guitar, which sound like they could've been taken directly from a Pixies album. There're forces of 90s alternative rock and power-pop at work here, especially in the awesomely self-deprecating "Mixtape,” when Hoy yelps out lyrics like "I crank the punk rock and maybe hip-hop/get my metal on, maybe I'm too far gone" over excited drumming and nervous guitar chords. It's a simple but fun song that carries with it all the staples of the EP: consistent drumming, Hoy's magnetic yelp and a knack toward earnest, if unpolished, rock. If it sounds like I'm emphasizing the drumming, it's because he emphasizes it himself.
Hoy never gets bored on the album, which is always a sign of a devoted artist, even if he does wear his influences on his sleeve. The opening bass line in "My Special One" imitates The Spencer Davis Group's canonical "Gimme Some Lovin'" and Hoy Pixiesfies himself on the troubled closer "Lips Like Heaven.” Heck, there's even a song called "I'm Not Sorry Uncle Albert" that pays tribute to Paul McCartney, and not just in the title. My Special One is a fun listen, an easy one, and packs enough punch to convert newcomers to Hoy's sound. If he sounds this good with only two days to work with, I'm interested to hear a project by him after a full year of making music.
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