Whether you’re watching the TV or scrolling through social media on your phone, there’s seemingly no escape from the discord that has been plaguing our world and every corner of it in recent years.
We’re living in an era that tests us daily, and Greg Hoy fights against the culture of chaos we’ve created for ourselves all too pointedly in his band’s new single, “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody.” Listening to the underground and specifically the Bay Area scene a lot in the past couple of years, I’ve had the chance to hear a lot of great indie artists making waves in the underground lately, but few have left as big an impression on me as Greg Hoy & the Boys and their latest release did just this past week. “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” isn’t a punk rock song; it feels kind of retro in its classic stylization of a familiar stomping beat – but it’s as incendiary a tune as fans could ask for this winter. A lyrical stick of dynamite outfitted with a few well-chosen sonic bells and whistles, this single/video combo is top-tier rock n’ roll for certain.
The music video for “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” is as inspiring and relentlessly evocative as its source material is, and I particularly like that Hoy didn’t see the need to weigh down the visuals with a lot of props and plasticized allusions to the narrative. The percussion is the only conservative point in the entirety of the mix; positioned to balance the dueling between our singer and the bassline, it serves its purpose well by staying out of the spotlight more than it ever tries stealing it away.
There’s a strong pop undertow to every word that Hoy sings in this song, but I don’t think it leans too far in either direction for both casual rockers and more hardcore fans to find something to relate to in its verses. “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” isn’t a shot at any one target audience – it’s a message that rock n’ roll from the right sources still exists, even if it is in the underground exclusively.
If you’ve never listened to Greg Hoy & the Boys before, I would say that this single is probably the best introduction to his sound that you can get your hands on in 2023. Hoy wears his heart on his sleeve without holding back in this song, and though it’s hard to picture this being the only hit he records in his time in the headlines, it’s another highpoint of his storied career thus far. Indie rock has been almost everywhere we look in the last three years or so, but there isn’t anything about “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” that would imply it was made purely to cash in on a popular aesthetic in contemporary music. This is Greg Hoy being himself to the max, and I for one am seriously liking who he and his band are becoming at this stage of the game.