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The Hook

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Take Boston’s Eden’s Children, and transplant them into the middle of the southern California “flower power” scene, and you have The Hook. Like their Bostonian brethren, they were a blistering power trio whose considerable instrumental ability was balanced by their limitations as songwriters. But whereas the former group gradually attempted more serious lyricism, the Hook remained blissfully goofy. Songs like “Everything’s Groovy” and “You Know I Do” sincerely embraced their slightness, and are just too much fun not to like. Heavier numbers (“Plug Your Head In”, “Son of Fantasy”) are just as silly, but overwhelm the listener by sheer sonic force.

Things come to a head on the irresistible “Garbage Man”, which tells the story of a young girl infatuated with, who else, the neighborhood’s smelly, unkempt sanitation worker. The song’s “smurfs on acid” “la la la” chorus puts the finishing touch on a work of truly twisted beauty. It’ll never be confused with “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but much like that Beatles’ masterwork, it’s fair to say that there’s never been another song quite like it.

It’s doubtful that you’ll find this album on any list of “classics”, although if exuberance counted, you should. The energy level here is high enough to wake your grandmother from a coma, which means, for all the album’s faults, the Hook has accomplished the mission. You may not like them, but they couldn’t care less.

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