It’s kind of a weird juxtaposition, Crushed Out recording their beachy, vaguely twangy garage rock with images of Brooklyn and a snowy or verdant New Hampshire countryside. The music almost fits hipster Brooklyn. Effingham, N.H.? Not so much. A better setting would be a backwoods barrelhouse or a shack in some Southeastern coastal town, with people shimmying and grinding, doing old dances named for primates and mashed potatoes.
Singer-guitarist Frank Hoier says some of the duo’s tunes were written while driving around Brooklyn listening to Link Wray and Dick Dale. “These are very industrial scenes in my mind,” he says, adding they inspired a “surfy, yet violent industrial instrumental” called “Nailgun” (2010 EP Show Pony, recorded under the band’s former name, Boom Chick). Singer-drummer Moselle Spiller wrote Want to Give’s airy closer “Country Star” while stargazing beside a riverside campfire in New Hampshire. “Music can be an escape from your immediate surroundings,” Hoier says, “though it can’t help but be influenced by the now.”
In fact, most of the songs were written in a “tiny little practice space” within a speaker factory in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. The only New Hampshire births were “Country Star,” the Everly-esque “Black & Purple” and dreamily rocking “Firelight.” “I never noticed that until now,” Hoier muses. “Wow.” But according to Hoier, “We are never in any one place long enough to have a process.”
Want to Give (Cool Clear Water) is everywhere music for everyone. It’s spunky and inclusive, with a heartland-ish, everydude vibe like Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane.” The little ditties, however, are pure Frank & Moselle, the work of a multiple-influenced Brooklyn couple who has seen the country, read/seen piles of books/movies and seen the colloquial “some shit.”
“We say our sound is ‘honky tonk surf’ because we think it sounds funny and cool, but also shows our range of influence and vibe,” Hoier says. “We have definitely seen the country, and it has definitely opened our eyes wide. We’ve seen many a downtown avenue and many a backwoods road.”
He figures drawing from many wells is “the only way to stay inspired in a limited setup.” And it gladdens him that the music shows that Crushed Out “lets ourselves be influenced by everything.” What they do, he says, is “really like rock & roll folk music.” He and Spiller are entirely untrained musicians, “just people with [such] an immense love for music that [we] create our own. We learned it off the record.”
That’s what makes Want to Give such a fulfilling listen. It doesn’t feel constructed; an easiness permeates the campfire songs, the surf tunes and the thumping, swaggering rockers. When you put it on, you let it play and just ride along, wherever Crushed Out is going. That kind of music endures.
“If people found our music hundreds/thousands of years from now,” Hoier says, “they will just think of us as a part of the American rock & roll of the early 2000s. I see us as always fitting in with the wild rock & roll hearts, the people who like it sometimes a little too fast, or want an emphasis on energy.”
Evidently, that’s the clientele of The Garage, which makes sense. It’s a cool little roadhouse in a strange part of town—that industrial North Salt Lake limbo between hip downtown Salt Lake City and suburban, super-Mormon Bountiful. Crushed Out is making their third appearance there on Friday.
“The people that run the place are so cool and appreciative of live music,” Hoier says. “Great food, too. We’ve never gotten to play outside, which we are hoping might happen this time. It is a unique neighborhood; we dig it. Like a slice of industrial Queens right next to a beautiful mountain.”
1199 N. Beck St.
Friday, Nov. 2, 9 p.m.
Thu., Aug. 28, 6:15 p.m. / $5