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“Jet Black, Get Back!” by Greg Hoy & The Boys

Some foolishly think that tone matters to music nerds and serious critics alone, but in reality, this is one of the most important details in any rock release. When the guitars are as warm as the lead vocal is, there’s a bigger footprint left from the sonic force of the music, and Greg Hoy & The Boys undeniably knew this going into the making of their new single “Jet Black, Get Back!” this May. Hoy has made a career out of raucous guitar-driven rock thus far, and in this performance, he’s continuing to wow listeners with one of the most straightforward approaches in the genre today.

The rhythm of the music here invites us to sway with the band, and though the percussion isn’t nearly as loud as the melodic instrumentation is, this doesn’t stop the thrust of the groove from getting to us at the beginning of the track. The band is in perfect synchronicity, but there’s an edge to their collective wallop that is highlighted brilliantly in the cut-and-dry music video for the song, which I thought was one of the best that Hoy and his group have released together.

I get a lot of Stooges vibes from Greg Hoy’s lead vocal in this single, which is a slight departure

from the angst-ridden melodicism he’s been working with to date. This is more raw, visceral, and animalistic in a couple of spots, bringing to mind elements of the garage rock revival movement that produced acts like The White Stripes some twenty-five years ago, but without the stated personalities that came with that revolution. He’s humble here, and he doesn’t have to do anything showy for us to appreciate the dexterity of his delivery as a singer in “Jet Black, Get Back!.”

When we get into the chorus of this single, the pop conceptualism of the hook makes itself known to us, and it’s hard to avoid the elegant hue of the harmony beside all of the discord the band is kicking up. When he’s focused, which is most of the time (to be fair), Greg Hoy is a really talented vocalist who can work with just about any beat you put in front of him, but he wants us to value the evenhandedness of this arrangement more than any individual contribution to the master mix. This is a band and not a solo project, and we’re reminded of that constantly here.

Garage rock puritans can be a rather discriminatory group, and while they might be hard to satisfy as a whole, I think there’s a good chance that the majority will be very receptive to what Greg Hoy & The Boys are punching out in “Jet Black, Get Back!.” Scarcely is there a band in this genre that doesn’t get a little indulgent with atonality and punkish rebellion every now and again, but I think we can be confident in this group sticking to a solid formula when they’ve got one planned out. They’ve yet to let me down, and this is another example of their chemistry.

Mindy McCall



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