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The Hootz - Single Review: Stay Away

06 May 2022 // A review by Chris Chick

Hailing from the Garden City and just a short 15-minute drive from yours truly, the 4-piece band known as The Hootz are releasing their upcoming single Stay Away.

This song has a very melancholy vibe to it, but not in the sense of it being a negative thing, if anything it has a very Summer vibe feel to it. No wonder the tag of surf rock accompanies this band, you can certainly feel the ‘Sumner’ vibes all the way through this song. Sumner has been renowned as the creative soul of Christchurch. This song has heart and soul in the truck load and just seems to keep on giving as it rolls on for four minutes. I like the fact the song makes subtle changes to keep the listening ear perked up, especially around the latter end of the song, it takes on a new life of its own.

I cannot feel a little ripped off at the end though. The song goes through a transition to some heavy six string strumming that inevitably means your head will naturally start doing that forward and back head bobbing that young people call a sign of a good song. All of a sudden the song just stops; I was almost awaiting the next stage of the song to go into overdrive to allow some moon stomping. Maybe this was the point of the song, maybe I was taken on that ride wanting more?

This song has great production value, the instruments are clear and precise as well as the lyrics. It is a well put together song which crosses numerous genres and will no doubt have many different admirers going forwards. Four very smart and talented chaps that deserve four minutes of your time to take a listen and not be disappointed. This definitely scores a strong 7 out of 10 for me, it would definitely have been an 8 if I was able to get an extra 30 seconds for some moon stomping.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About The Hootz

Hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, lead writers Mitch Bowley-Black (Lead Guitarist) and Jahquinn Black (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar) have formed a soundscape that has taken the benchmark of Kiwi indie-rock and sent it into a jealous epiphany by blasting it with elements of coarse-reggae and husk vocalism, riding a wave of psychedelic embellishment. When combined with the low-end bop of bassist, Jayden Bowley, and drummer, Kasey Andrews, The Hootz define their own niche sound that slam dunks the norm of reggae.

Many shining reviews and praised local performances around New Zealand in 2020 catapulted The Hootz into the forefront of the local band industry due to a consistently unique and ecstatic performance. Cool and smooth stage antics that explode into an abundance of energy at a timely dynamic made their performance an easy crowd favourite in the New Zealand gig scene at events such as Go live, Tea Party and the Duke Surf Festival.

Following their debut EP in 2020, The Hootz released a single I Keep Falling (2021), a

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