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Music Review: Hockey unleashes ‘Chaos’

Marla Bahloul
Arts Editor

Hailing all the way from the “green city,” Portland’s very own Hockey has finally composed its first full-length album.

Fusing both funk and power pop, “Mind Chaos” finds itself being radio-friendly, providing listeners with a pleasurable experience.

It is a danceable album, with a new-wave, soul type of feel, drawing inspiration from a number of musical styles.

Its title serves perfectly to the feel it is trying to project. Hockey has managed to place its foot on the first step to success with hit “Too Fake.”

It is an anthem of anger and regret, though it enforces a sense of euphoria. It is this sort of dichotomy that is soon to become a recognized trademark of Hockey’s.

Their anticipated rise to fame has been ongoing since forming in 2002.

They are able to, through their songs, present a two-sided perspective—not something that all bands are able to do effectively.

It is the collision of emotions and themes that add to the band’s individuality, setting them apart from commercialism.

Frontman Benjamin Grubin bears a striking resemblance to We are the Fury’s lead singer, Jeremy Lublin. Their voices are almost identical, which isn’t such a bad thing, considering the success of We are the Fury.

Their influences are evident as similarities between Hockey and other bands like Bloc Party and Hot Hot Heat can be made.

With an upbeat sound and songs like “Learn to Lose” and “Curse this City,” it’s hard not to like the album. They have a funk feel with a punk attitude to match.

“Mind Chaos” is a varied album with stylish casualness and eager sincerity, again presenting a dichotomy.

Their songs are all undeniably catchy, reestablishing the necessary components of a pop hit.

The overall electronic feel of the band retires to the background with songs like “Wanna Be Black” and “Four Holy Places.”

“Wanna Be Black” really shows their resemblance to Hot Hot Heat frontman, Steve Bays, mimicking Bays’ vocal style.

“Four Holy Places” is a complete turn away from the entire record, introducing a country sound, bringing in a harmonica and an acoustic guitar.

One would think that the distinctively country song would ruin the overall feel of the album, but soon realizes that it all just so happens to work.

Their debut reflects the “chaos” of the LP, giving audiences a “how to” guide of meshing different musical styles. “Mind Chaos” is now available for download on iTunes.

Hockey is currently on tour in Europe. They will be making stops in Japan and Australia, only to return back to Europe. They will be there until their last Feb. 28 show in Dublin, Ireland.

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Marla Bahloul can be reached at

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