It’s said that even the most elemental of rock has to have some grit in order to impress the genre’s most dedicated of fans, but if there’s an artist who isn’t looking to find out for himself right now, it’s Greg Hoy. He isn’t trying to push the boundaries in this department with his new single/video combo in “Can You Take It?” this December, but instead returning to the black and white stylization of hard rock that once inspired his very career. This is no-B.S. rock n’ roll with a hearty rhythm focus, and it’s definitely something I was happy to come across recently.
The vocal has a rather muted space in the chorus when you isolate and compare the volume it’s sporting to what the string parts are doing, but I don’t know that this was an attempt on Hoy’s part to bury his verse in sludge. He’s interweaving so much of the verse into the cadence of the riffing as well as the very tone of his guitar play that it’s difficult for me to imagine the overall effect not being something he intended to develop here. It’s ironic and incredibly alternative, and to me, half the reason why the cosmetic finish in this single is so intriguing to examine.
“Can You Take It?” is a screamer of a statement song that tells me we need to expect a lot more content of this caliber from Greg Hoy in the future, but I don’t know that it’s going to change the creative trajectory for his sound at all. This is a guy who has getting tougher and tougher each time I listen to his music, and now that he’s reached a point where balance and aesthetical indulgence have merged with his cut and dry arranging system, I think we’re going to hear his best content of all.
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