Tuesday, 16 February 2016


Hoover were a four-piece post-hardcore band from Washington, DC that formed in 1992 and broke up in 1994. They briefly reformed in 1998 to record an EP of odds and ends tracks they never ended up completing through their actual time as a band. They also played a handful of shows in 2004, but have been inactive since then.

Hoover came around at an interesting time in DC's punk/hardcore history. Over a decade ago, bands like The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Iron Cross, Faith, the list goes on, had formed and defined DC and Dischord "hardcore". Following that, there were changing musical and political ideals, thus "Revolution Summer" comes along with Rites of Spring, Embrace, Beefeater, Soulside, Ignition, essentially another long list of bands with the same members of the aforementioned bands. The city had already had a rich and progressing musical history, that basically resulted in the birth of Fugazi, the only band that matters. I'm kidding of course, but "post-hardcore" (whatever you want to call it) had essentially become the main form of musical expression in late 80's DC. Along with the obvious Fugazi, bands like Nation Of Ulysses and Lungfish had also started up and spearheaded the Dischord label into the new decade. Obviously these bands are all incredibly influential, mostly because they're amazing, forward-thinking bands, but also because they came to be at the perfect time to just explode. Hoover, who began in 1992, kind of just missed the boat on that, since most of their DC contemporaries were off touring the country (or planet), while they were just getting started.

They worked with Dischord, and that sound is blatantly obvious while listening to them. Bass-heavy rhythms, syncopated instrumentation, harsh vocals, all defined this incredibly tight band who knew how to play off of each other. Fugazi and Lungfish are definite influences, but Hoover also had a lot in common with other bands starting to form at the same time, like Drive Like Jehu or Indian Summer. Their short lifespan is also something they shared with those bands, where they came and left, but managed to push out some astounding material in very little time. Hoover's songs were also fairly long in length, featured repeated rhythms that would build and crash, and a marching intensity that warrants a mention of Slint comparison for. Trap yourself in a room for a week with Repeater and Spiderland and you might have some idea of where Hoover were coming from.

Hoover are a band I cannot recommend enough to fans of 90's post-hardcore/emo. They're somewhat well-known, but only really only among fans of that era. So anybody being introduced to Fugazi or Drive Like Jehu should definitely get into Hoover, who were kind of the darker side of bands like that. They could have used a lot more attention than they got, since they put out some underground classics. The split with Lincoln is perfect on both sides, and their sole LP The Lurid Traversal Of Route 7 is a mindfuck to explore. Enjoy.

1. Side Car Freddie
2. Cable

1. Hoover - Two Down
2. Lincoln - Bench Warmer

1. Distant
2. Pretender
3. Electrolux
4. Shut
5. Route 7
6. Regulator Watts
7. Father
8. Cable
9. Letter
10. Cuts Like Drugs
11. Return
12. Private
13. Dries

Note: Last three songs are from the Private 7"

6. Breather Resist (Demo)

1. TNT
2. New Five Drive
3. Breather Resist
4. Weeds
5. Relectrolux/Electrodub

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