Fast, accessible songs that will grip you immediately.Small Plates Records, 2017
7.6 / 10
Gabriel Rodriguez is one of the lesser known members of Cults. Seemingly hidden behind Cults’ core duo of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, Rodriguez shines in his solo project Hideout. His sophomore effort So Many Hoops / So Little Time arrives two years after his debut Rookie. The new album deals with grief and its many faces. This theme arises from the tragic passing of Rodriguez’s brother. However, So Many Hoops is hardly ever a downer of an album. The songs, delivered in fast consumable bursts, are hook heavy. More than one will likely stick with you.
This happens immediately with “I Got Your Message”, a song that would have been welcome on Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest. Its dreamy melody and dual harmonies give way to a revved up vocal from Rodriguez that will bring your ears to attention. “See You Around” never takes its foot off the gas pedal. Moving at an urgent breakneck pace, Rodriguez’s grief is apparent while also expressing a desire to escape.
So Many Hoops‘ songs are multifaceted genre wise. A little psychedelia, a little acoustic songwriter, a little stadium rock. Rodriguez’s vocals never feel off. His voice reflects James Bond in two settings: one where he’s not in danger and the other when a laser beam is tracking toward his genitals1. He’s able to switch the tone of his songs with expert precision. His best moment comes in “Some Things Missing” where he goes off on a tangent discussing a dream. It’s so well written and delivered that it immediately grips you. Much like the majority of So Many Hoops / So Little Time.
1. Okay, so James Bond is typically cool as a cucumber in both situations. I was merely trying to say Rodriguez is able to express calm and panic very well in his singing.