The Hoosiers found instant success in the music world, with their debut single peaking at #5 on the UK Singles Charts, before their 2007 debut album The Trick to Life hit #1. However, as it goes these days, haters gonna hate and the Reading lads also picked up the Worst Band title at the NME awards. They’ve since had their share of struggles, but the quartet plan on capitalizing on their third album The News from Nowhere to set it all right.
Their second album The Illusion of Safety charted quite well, but the band decided to depart from their label after a dispute over its promotion. For 2014’s The News from Nowhere The Hoosiers decided to take on the responsibility, producing the album themselves and intending to distribute it that way too. Taking a lot onto their plate, including all the costs of recording, manufacturing, advertising, video, touring and promotion, the boys have nothing to lose, but a lot to prove.
The album opens up with the upbeat toned Somewhere in the Distance, with driving guitars and glittering synth. It also launches the catchy, melodic vocals, with a bright falsetto seeping in and out. Make or Break (You Gotta Know) features a wandering bassline and slightly distorted vocals to the intro, until the chorus drops the jangly guitars and an amount of cowbell that THE Bruce Dickinson would be proud of. A fun vibe is established that even manages to read through on the slower tracks, like My Last Fight.
Handsome Girls & Pretty Boys sees a switch to acoustic guitar and a big looping bassline drives the song, with vocal layering and dabbling keys. The title track creates a slow halfway point, a stripped back piano ballad, with soft vocals and a horn section raising their head. However, Rocket Star immediately picks the tone pack up, with 80’s influenced droning synth and funky guitars. To the Lions features a high pitched piano, before Upset contrasts it with a chunky, low down bassline. Impossible Boy brings a more unique, spacey atmosphere, a quirky washed out tune, before Nathan’s Loft closes out the record with a delicate, twinkling ode.
With the mountainous challenge they set themselves, The Hoosiers can only be delighted with the result. Singer Irwin Sparkes notes that doing it on their own terms and “actually having a proper say in it, felt wonderful”; the new-found confidence and freedom is readily apparent. The Hoosiers have created an album that they’ve been allowed to control, producing the sound they desire and release it on their own label. Still having to fund its promotion, the band is hoping fans will preorder the album, with chances to appear in their videos and visit the studio as incentives. Here’s hoping they receive the reward they deserve for going it alone in the ruthless world of pop music.