Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Hockey – Song Away

Think you’ll actually find he sounds like Mark Knopfler…


Matt Cibula: Sorry, Portland; I grew up in you and I have played Nerf football in your streets and I have made out with hot babes in your Greek restaurants and I have made absurd U-turns on your 82nd Avenue with beer in the car and I love your Trail Blazers and your Powell’s Books more than I can say. But your new hot buzz indie pop band is too clever by half and does not impress me one bit.

Michaelangelo Matos: Catchy, harmless alt-pop-rock that’s a hair away from that dork from those Free Credit Report TV ads in sheer slappability.

Chuck Eddy: Small town music, they claim. Novelty music. Not Roxy Music. But their Wiki claims “Hockey are an American new wave band from Portland, Oregon,” and I gotta admit, this song had me thinking “new wave” before I even checked. Though I’m not sure which new wave, exactly — their self-proclaimed “’80s groove” wouldn’t have cut it back then. But the frontnerd’s talk-cadence does remind me of somebody from that era: The Timbuk 3 guy? Human Switchboard guy? Jim Carroll? I don’t know. Also true to new wave: all the unfashionable wallflowers dancing in the video.

Talia Kraines: Sometimes you come across a song that just makes you happy. For me, “Song Away” does just that. It’s well crafted, but perfectly simple. I can’t bang on about how it’s innovative – in fact, if I really wanted, I could labor its numerous influences. It might not be the best example of any originality Hockey showed us in “Too Fake”, but the notion of “tomorrow’s just a song away” puts a big fat smile on my face and makes me dance around my room. Only the very best music can do just that.

Iain Mew: This is so constantly melodic and bright that, despite the attempt at sounding offhand (those awkward whoops!), it comes off as hectoring and oppressive. It doesn’t help that the long strings of words spilling out into the verses seem to have been invented more to fill up the space than anything, nor that the chorus repeats well beyond it’s appeal.

Dan MacRae: There’s a sense that with one wrongly pulled Jenga piece, this song would collapse into a pile of sweater-vested cuteness. Blessedly, it all stays in place. I’m probably just seduced by the frontman having a Bob Dylan-esque voice and a Rick Springfield-esque agenda.

Martin Skidmore: This reminds me of Mink Deville, a phrase I have not had need for in many years now. It is also, for the same reasons, the most Dylan-influenced delivery I have heard from a new act in ages. I’m not sure that we need music like this, but it has a pleasant pop-rock groove and I like Ben Grubin’s singing well enough.

Alex Wisgard: If Razorlight’s first album kept its passing affect(at)ion with Bob Dylan, but transplanted its self-aware Patti Smith emulation for a half-heartedly “postmodern” fondness for Bryan Ferry, “Song Away” would be the result. It wouldn’t have worked in 2004, and sounds no better five years on.

Pete Baran: The song contains its own critique. It also contains bucket loads of hyperbole, a few stabs at cultural significance and a remarkably smug, self satisfied feeling that AM radio still exists somewhere.

Anthony Miccio: ‘We knew “Song Away” would either be the first single on Let Me Up or not come out at all. The label dug it, but the guys thought it was just a little too pop. Stan said “if it sounds silly now, imagine how it will sound twenty years from now.” And I gotta say I’m glad we don’t have fans yelling for that instead of “Jammin’ Me”.’ – Tom Petty, Runnin’ Down A Dream (Bonus Features)

Alfred Soto: This ain’t Roxy Music, this ain’t self-reflexive music, I want to hold you, I want to kiss you, but I ain’t got time for that now.

Additional Scores

Anthony Easton: [2]
Doug Robertson: [6]

3 Responses to “Hockey – Song Away”

  1. Keep Portland weird, guys.

  2. I hate this song. A lot.

  3. I don’t care if he looks like Ringo, this beats Dan Black as the most fucking horrible thing I’ve heard all year.