Hook – Best Days

A new-wave, alt-rock trio that built off authentic melancholy and are not afraid to address issues that are rarely addressed.

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The genre of New Wave seems to have an ironic title. While most might jump to some famous new wave bands like Talking Heads, Duran Duran, and Blondie, none of these acts scream “New” to anybody. In fact, their music almost becomes nostalgic, which would be the opposite of new. While it is all relative to the time, new-new wave is seemingly becoming a little rarer to find.

Enter ‘Hook’, the Dublin trio who have been reviving the new-wave movement with some indie new-new wave and peppering in some modern skills and genre-blending.


Who Are Hook?

Singer and guitarist, Eoin O’Donnell, takes center stage as the trio’s front-man, with Morgan O’Brien on the drums and Danny Spelman on bass and vocals. The band formed back in 2019 and have already released an EP called ‘!’ and another single titled ‘I Like You’. Both of these are projects worth diving into. They have a new-wave rock sound, in all of its melancholic glory, while also being fresh and boasting a much clearer tone and sound. There are even hints of soft grunge, akin to that of Pearl Jam. Eoin definitely shows the flair of Eddie Vedder in his vocality, without sounding derivative. He has identified his range of comfort and capitalises on it, showing off his skills and uniqueness.

One of the band’s advantages may actually be their restrictions. With a trio, it can be difficult to get a full sound, or comparatively, bands can overcompensate in the recordings. Thankfully, ‘Hook’ are skilled and knowledgeable enough to recognise their strengths and drive them home. There is a much more raw and underground-punk feel to their music. Nothing is overbearing or under-represented. The balance within the three members fits wonderfully and the band certainly knocks it out of the park with their initial releases. Danny brings the bass-forward with some awesome running lines in a few songs, driving the low-end forward, keeping the variety between each track. The dynamic intertwining of creation within the trio makes each of their songs feel tight and solid. 

 

Morgan, Eoin and Danny

Best Days

Given the amount of work they have put into their creations since 2019, it’s no surprise they have an absolute cracker ready to release in 2021. Just at around the 2-year mark since their inception. ‘Best Days’ certainly seems to be their most hard-hitting and intricate release to date.

This piece is a deeply meaningful story, reminiscing of life in college. Almost everyone can relate and remember their parents telling them those days were the best they’ll ever have. ‘Hook’ tackle the often unspoken reality that people can suffer through these years with the utmost difficulty. If these are the best days, then what difficulties are yet to come? The song is wonderfully written, illustrating the relativity of college culture and education in general. The lyrics themselves were originally thought of by Morgan. Eoin work-shopped the song, adding chords and a melody and with Danny’s final touches, ‘Best Days’ was born. This, again, shows just how tight these lads work together. 

“The song is an autobiographical account of being a young person or in college. For some, it’s a very lonely and isolating time. Everyone is telling you that these are the best days and years of your life, but more often than not it doesn’t feel that way. There’s so many expectations to be social and interesting, but most people in fact have trouble making friends or feeling accepted.”

The song clearly has a lot of heart and soul embedded within, with some wonderful driving points behind the story. 

The song will also be released with an accompanying music video which shows shots of Dublin through a disorientating filter, one that is reminiscent of the old red/blue 3D glasses. It is shot as if it’s through the eyes of a drunk student wandering the city at night. This all wonderfully compliments the disoriented and confused feeling of the narrator in the song.

The Breakdown

While ‘Best Days’ tells the uncertain story of a college student through its lyrics, the music surrounding the story adds the colour and vibrancy. The track was recorded by the band themselves and mastered by Ciarán Byrne, a working relationship that seems to be full of experience and harmony. The band achieved a certain tone and feeling, one of uncertainty and awkwardness of the college student. Utilising production techniques like panning to create a cloudy atmosphere of confusion, and some crunchy distortion to portray the grind and crunch that some students experience, it makes the whole production sound masterful. 

What may stand out most is the switch between major and minor chords. While the chorus focuses on the A minor chord, the tone switches slightly with the dominant A major in the verses. The blending of minor and major is the perfect portrayal of the positives and negatives, ups and downs, perks and cons of students in their “best days”. 

Rounding off the song, the listener hangs on the end of the final chorus with a wonderful breather of drums, reverberated vocals and some guitar feedback, all before finishing on the main riff hook. This piece has so much in it, despite its simplicity. The story is wonderfully relatable, the melody is catchy as new-wave punk ever has been and the production truly is immaculately well balanced. 

Where to Find Them

‘Hook’ have greatly impressed with their releases in 2020, and everyone should stay in the loop with all of their future releases. 

‘Best Days’ will be released on Friday, April 2nd, on all major platforms. You can find all of ‘Hooks’ previous releases on their Spotify and Bandcamp. You can follow the band on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see all promo for their upcoming releases. The music video for ‘Best Days’ will be released on their YouTube channel on April 9th.

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