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The Lurid Traversal of Route 7

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Album Review

Call Hoover's sole Dischord album emo if one wants — because that would be right, but not in the washed-out whine sense of the late '90s. Much like the similarly fierce Drive Like Jehu from San Diego, when Lurid Traversal totally and completely fires up, Hoover are out for blood and sound it: musical aggression amped up high, lyrics clipped, and vocals screamed in usually very high pitches. The Jehu comparison also holds with the sense of obsessive, repetitive structure mixed with occasional time changes in a number of the songs — if Hoover isn't quite as astoundingly epic as the West Coast quartet, the band's work is still far more than mere crash and bash. The group's secret weapon is that the foursome can be quiet when they want to be — even tender, as the cricket-chirping then slow, slightly dreamy music that makes up the instrumental "Route 7" itself shows. Other songs like "Regulator Waits" and "Shut" place the emphasis on tension rather than explosion — the singing and lyrics are still pained-sounding and to the point, but the music takes its time to subtly chug and chime along. The concluding "Cuts Like Drugs" is a perfectly balanced monster, some guitar scraping away in the distance like Daniel Ash in Bauhaus days while a suffused air of threat hangs over the whole performance (credit should be given to drummer Christopher Farral here and elsewhere). When the group openly bridges the step between quiet and loud, notably and almost jarringly on the fantastic "Father," the shift carries that much more impact from having started from a calmer point. The CD adds three extra tracks from an earlier single, a fine enough little bonus.

Customer Reviews

The Lurid Traversal Of Route 7 (Nina)

This is one of the few albums that I can say has honestly shaped my life. Hoover is amazing and I believe that it would be absolutely unaccurate to describe Hoover's music as "empty". This album has heart and gut-wrenching sincerity from the beginning drone of "Distant" to the hollowed pulsations of "Dries". "Cuts Like Drugs" resurrects many painful memories- I would literally listen to the song while gripping my carpet in a depressive, drug-induced mania. This album is difficult for me to listen to because it brings me back to a dark and painful place. This is art. This is sincerity. This is REAL. "Route 7" takes you away from yourself for a few fleeting moments, but the whole album makes one feel like they're sitting in a dark room with ashen dust seeping under the doorway in an attempt to choke and allay. I love this album and it is ANYTHING but empty. Listen with an open spirit, as wounded as it may be.

DC post-hardcore, emo at it's best

This record, along with their two 7 seven inches and (post-breakup) 5 song ep on Slowdime comprise the epitome of what was happening in the burgeoning post-hardcore, emo explosion of the early 90s. This is a must have album. Everything they recorded, except for The Lurid Traversal of Route 7 on CD, is out of print and worth whatever you pay for it on ebay. I have listened to this record hundreds of times and it only gets better with time. There is not a mediocre song on this record-all of the songs burn and shine and bury themselves in your brain. The recording is a perfect representation of the best of a genre that no longer exists.

The journey of Route 7, is a notable route.

Simply amazing. I have spent 13 years with this album in my life, and it is my most prescribed elixir for an introduction to a new lexicon in music.


Formed: 1992 in Washington DC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Hoover, formed in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1992, may have only existed briefly (they broke up in the spring of 1994), but the band had a tremendous impact on post-hardcore music. Early on, Hoover was wrongly dubbed a Fugazi copycat, but played intense, angular, ominous music (to which late-'90s Fugazi may actually owe a debt) thanks to the otherworldly rhythm section of Fred Erskine on bass/vocals and Chris Farral on drums and the shattering dual guitar and vocal onslaught of Joe McRedmond...
Full Bio
The Lurid Traversal of Route 7, Hoover
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Customer Ratings