The Ryne Experience - “Hokey”
(Under the Counter Tapes)
The young phenom Ryne Clarke harnessed the creative talents of 20-plus fellow west Michiganders in order to create The Ryne Experience’s debut Hokey — a gem of indie-rock/folk-rock perfection.
Hokey represents all of the best of the folk-rock resurgence that began in the early 2010s. Ryne possesses great pop sensibilities and expresses them with a folky authenticity. He stands out from the rest of his folky fellow travelers by charting his own musical course and not following the well-worn paths of the genre’s worst cliches. Thankfully, not a single handclap or unison-shout of “HEY!” can be heard.
While the traditional rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and vocals drives the music, the squad of additional personnel comes into effect with some lush and interesting string/horn arrangements as well as an assortment of other various instruments, such as a glockenspiel, organ and piano, and a banjo. Check out Observations, Gather Up Your Socks and Slow Recession for examples of the musical menagerie.
Also, while labeling themselves on Bandcamp as “lo-fi” and “home recording,” I would classify them as anything but. Hokey sparkles with outstanding production quality.
Hokey also exudes a great retro nostalgia that makes me feel like I’m tuning into K Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70s from Reservoir Dogs.
Note: While not required, having both of your ears will enable you to fully enjoy this stellar record. That and not being tied up and doused with gasoline by a psychopathic gangster.