Starting off with the title track, Uncertain Things is off to a solid start. Hoover! proves to be an energetic rock outfit that thrives on driving guitars and powerful vocals. Uncertain Things has the power and conviction that a good opener needs, both live and on CD. It’s becoming one of my favorites by Hoover! quite fast.
The next song has a very appropriate title as it’s a very groovy, slightly overpowered rocker. In Groove definitely has a lot of energy and the band digs in and brings all their talent to the plate, but there are a couple points in the song where they’re just trying to hard. Just let go and let it come out of you. The song has great potential though and rocks very well. Very curious as to how this sounds live.
Then perhaps Hoover! comes up with the album’s finest track. Breed has a very haunting, melodical side to it that actually gives me a bit of a Neil Young feel. (note: when I compare you to someone like Neil Young, that is ALWAYS a good thing). The song thrives on strong songwriting and the arrangement is solidly portrayed musically. Hoover! is only at the beginning of its musical career, but if they can keep up this level, there’ll be much more to enjoy in the future.
The power-rock of Thrown To Wrong sounds somewhere in the middle of American Hi-Fi & Nine Inch Nails. It has the uptempo powerpop feeling of American Hi-Fi, but within the sound there’s some industrial-influenced rock that comes closer to Trent Reznor and his crew. Hoover! smartly plays around these influences and works it out to a very promising song that is both energetic and well-paced. While sometimes things could’ve been accentuated better (or different, rather) in the production, this song is definitely a highlight.
The Man I Want To Be is a potential rock single. While it’s not the best track on the album, it has a certain catchiness to it, though it might have more of a chance had it had a recognizable beat or some cool riffs or power hooks. But even without those marks, it works quite well.
The powerful Commit Oneself sounds like the ultimate live song on this album. The driving guitars and slightly industrial influence creates a massive track that can create a real live atmosphere with all the sweaty power and raw emotion you want at a rock concert.
Lead single On My Way is another pretty cool song. It’s a little more poppy and therefore a great choice to play on the radio. The catchy song has good riffs and while some might criticize it by saying it sounds like many other things, I think that’s the strength of the song. It’s hard to put your finger on it exactly when you want to say that it sounds like something specific, but it does have that recognizable sound. Sounds like a strong radio single to me.
The drum intro to The Chase is a little standard, but the burst of energy that follows definitely spikes my interest in this song. The track has a darker character and the NIN influence is noticeable again. But despite that, it has a certain riff that continues to appear and makes the song stay with you more than you initially realize. All albums have at least one of those underrated songs, and for this album, The Chase is that song.
The album ends with Moonlight, which is a more paced down, acoustically based song. It comes off as bonus material but it’s a nice treat. It gave me a slight ‘mild Deep Purple’ feeling at times, but Hoover! is definitely more effective with the powerful, energetic rock that they can drive forward and get people all excited about. After the song’s over there’s a long time of nothing before the last 20 seconds of raw bonus material kick in. That might be slightly unnecessary, but we’ll give them a thumbs up for the effort.
Uncertain Things shows a lot of potential and definitely a lot of energy in this band. Based on what I heard on the album, I can understand why people are enthusiastic. It’s quite convincing and paints a picture of a band born to play live and bring the music to the people. The songwriting is strong and they got a Neil Young reference which always looks good on a band’s resumé. All in all Uncertain Things proves to me that Hoover! is a band worthy of at least a national breakthrough.