SPECIAL MOVES – ” Little Help “

Posted: August 19, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Based out of the indie-pop heartland of Olympia, Washington, Joshua Hoey has been working on his, “lo-fi, small-scale cultural production”, under a variety of guises for the best part of two-decades. Joshua’s latest project is the, “open-source DIY rock band”, Special Moves, a sort of intriguing middle ground between a solo-project and a collective, where anyone is encouraged to turn up at any given moment and do their thing. After a string of cassingles released over the course of 2018 (which were subsequently compiled the following year on Jigsaw’s “Everything Is Free” cd), this is the proper debut full length from Special Moves, an Olympia-based project led by Josh Hoey with ample accompaniment from a large number of friends. Like the earlier stuff, these recordings are a bit rough around the edges, but both the sound quality and overall flow of this album is a marked improvement over the compilation, giving this a much more consistent feel. Musically, this is still perfectly in line with Tall Dwarfs and early Portastatic, but with a slightly mellower, poppier aesthetic. Heck, even his cover of the Boyracer classic “I’ve Got It + It’s Not Worth Having” is a friendlier, more melodic take on the original! And at under 20 minutes, this is a great album to quickly listen to when you’re getting ready to run out the door…


“If you want something done right, do it yourself” may not be an entirely accurate translation from the original French, but it’s proven to be a powerful strategy over the last forty years of American underground rock music. Special Moves is the latest name Olympia’s Joshua Hoey has applied to their lifelong project of lo-fi, small-scale cultural production. Josh has played fuzzy, energetic rock music in living rooms and basements – even the occasional rock club – for almost two decades. The rough outlines of their sound are SUPERCHUNK, ARCHERS OF LOAF, BUTTERGLORY, GUIDED BY VOICES, SUGAR, and early 90’s indie rock generally.

Somehow that has resulted in not just a thrillingly varied live show, but also an upcoming album, Little Help, released on Joshua’s own Reflective Tapes label, in collaboration with both Jigsaw Records and Solidarity Club.


The specific sparks that have fed the drive to write, record and travel were generated by random short-run seven-inches, cassingles, and one-off tracks on tape comps. Special Moves is an attempt to continue the proud legacy created by folks with talented friends and an uncontrollable urge to document the creativity and vibrancy that would otherwise fade from view. Special Moves is an open-source rock band. Lineups and instrumentation vary from gig to gig, one recording to the next. Collaborators are encouraged to bring their unique stylistic choices to bear.


As you’d expect for someone so rooted in the DIY-world, the Special Moves sound is something of an archive of the great and good of bands who never really made it.


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