Coming in hot with catchy songwriting, clean yet driving instrumentals, and hard-hitting vocal performances, Greg Hoy & The Boys have been taking care of business over the past couple of years. Hoy’s wasted none of the lessons he’s learned while performing with Glenn Branca or recording with Steve Albini & The Last Town Chorus, and his Boys, including Charli XCX collaborator Vicky Warwick & black metal drummer David E. Richman, bring more than enough talent to the table themselves.
They’ve proven this yet again on their track Brilliant Jerk!, which they also dropped a music video for in the earlier half of this year. The song shows them working in their tried & true wheelhouse while developing on those strengths. The guitars have a bit of an edge to them that allows them to stand out in the clean mix, running in step with the groovy bass rhythms that Vicky provides throughout. The drumming, although simple, acts as a stable & bright base for every other aspect of the track. Hoy’s vocals not only complement the vibe brought by the instruments, but amp up the track’s energy tenfold, letting each lyric hit like jabs from a champion boxer. All in all, it’s a great tune to put on if you’re putting in work in the gym, or jamming out in your bedroom to feel like it’s summer again.
Then there’s the video.
I won’t name the director out of courtesy, although I couldn’t find their name anyway. Omitting it was probably the smartest move they made in relation to this video, because Christ Almighty it’s awful. Have you ever seen those ads for lifestyle brands on YouTube? You know, the ones where they throw together footage of nondescript people being vaguely cool, successful, & full of life? That’s this. Not in the sense that it was just a boring, directionless music video, but in the sense that this video is literally just pieces of high-definition stock footage.
There’s a guy playing some sort of music game on VR in the very first shot, giving you the impression that he might be the main character of the video, living this fantasy life where he pretends to be our beloved Greg Hoy & The Boys. That notion, however, is thrown completely out the window by the next shot, which is from the perspective of someone dancing with a lady at the club. It cuts back to VR guy, now playing an entirely different game that involves grabbing fruit (or something), then back to the club, followed by a clip of some analog recording equipment, a clip of a band playing a show (is it Hoy & Co.? No idea, we can only see the neck of the bass guitar), followed by…a businessman on the phone?????? What the fuck dude?
The video just alternates between these, along with the added spice of a lady standing in front of a muscle car, a couple of people whipping out some admittedly impressive dance moves, and clips of models with boomboxes & headphones that look like Beats By Dre commercial outtakes. Padded with more of the clips of instruments being played by stock footage actors, this may very well be the worst video I’ve had to review on this site, or ever, for that matter.
Let’s be clear, though: unless they directed it themselves & didn’t want to say anything, this isn’t entirely their fault. Budgets can get tight, and when you invest your money in a director that decides to exclusively take shortcuts, there’s only so much you can do besides release it & hope for the best. If the director is reading this, though, I have this to say: try actually filming something, maybe even the band you’re doing the video for. Could work, who knows?
Anyway, if there’s anything I can say about Greg Hoy & The Boys after running through their catalog, it’s that their live show would be killer. We all need some good rock tunes in our lives, and if you happen to be in one of the cities they’re touring, I suggest you let them give you the fix you need.
You can catch them at the following dates & cities:
- 10/03: Piano’s, NYC
- 10/04: Amityville Music Hall, Long Island NY
- 10/05: Amity Teen Center, New Haven CT
- 10/06: Bourbon & Branch, Philly
- 10/10: Flask Lounge, Portland ME
- 10/11: Square Root, Boston MA
- 10/12: Tellus, Lancaster, MA
- 10/16: The Footlight, Queens, NY
- 10/17: Angels, Baltimore, MD
- 10/18: Dantes, Frostburg MD
- 10/19: Songbyrd, DC
- 10/20: Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
- 11/30: Bender’s, San Francisco, CA