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Albums Of The Week: Hooveriii | A Round of Applause

Put your hands together for the L.A. psyche-rockers' expansive, experimental gem.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Los Angeles psych-rock band Hooveriii (Hoover Three) were created in large part by founder Bert Hoover, but have grown to include Gabe Flores (lead guitar and vocals), Kaz Mirblouk (bass and synths), James Novick (synths) and Owen Barrett (drums).

Prior to delving into A Round of ApplauseHoveriii’s second album through The Reverberation Appreciation Society — the band had stuck to a routine of issuing about two releases a year (including singles, live albums, etc.). After the rise of a certain five-letter word that starts with a C, they realized that time really shouldn’t be taken for granted. Finding additional inspiration via Nick Cave, who once said that dabbling with new ideas continues to fuel his near-50-year career, the band decidedly took a different approach with their new album and gave themselves the freedom to explore in the studio.

The end result is A Round of Applause, an expansive and even, at times, experimental record. Whereas 2021’s Water for the Frogs was akin to a jam-band record — most of its seven songs are about five minutes long (including a closing track that lasts nearly 10) — A Round of Applause could be considered their “pop” album. Occasionally paying homage to the Canterbury scene, the band consider it to be a palette cleanser of sorts.

“I am not really a playlist guy or a singles guy,” Hoover admits. “I’m really into the album experience … So yeah, we made a pop record. But also, to me, this record is very progressive as well, and I think that that provides a nice balance.” He previously referred to Water for the Frogs as the band’s equivalent of Iggy Pop’s The Idiot. Playing with that idea, he says A Round of Applause is the kindred spirit of Lust For Life.

Hooveriii derived the album title from the late-’80s Roky Erickson song Click Your Fingers Applauding the Play. “That’s too much of a mouthful,” Hoover qualified. “My title, A Round of Applause, just came one day, and we were like, ‘Yo, that sounds like a Gentle Giant record.’ ”

The first preview of the album was the opening track See. “See is about trying not to take life for granted,” Hoover said. “Some things are easier said than done. It’s our first song to feature Anna Wallace singing along with us and it came together rather seamlessly. It was a pretty bare bones jangle jam until the band filled it with ear candy.” The accompanying video was filmed on 16mm at the Trona Pinnacles in Trona, CA. Conceived and co-directed by the mighty Nikki Houston and Owen Summers, it features aliens stranded on earth try to find their way home until things go very wrong.

Reflecting the mostly lighthearted and uplifting record, A Round of Applause closes cheekily — but not sarcastically — with the sound of people clapping. Hoover adds graciously: “We’ve been lucky so far. I don’t think we really have a, you know, ‘bad song.’ ” Maybe one will, someday. But Hoover doesn’t dwell on that; after all, his band has more records to make — and time is of the essence.”


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