In a flustered expelling of pessimism in the form of a percussive eruption, Greg Hoy & the Boys’ “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” starts to play. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds for the track to explain in sonic terms just what Hoy has planned for us here; from the glow of the guitars to the gutter-filtered bassline, it’s obvious that dirty rock n’ roll revelry is what’s in store ahead. The lead vocal finds its way into the fold, attaching itself to the instrumental harmony as though the two were never meant to be separated in the first place, and by the time we hit the first chorus in “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody,” trying to resist the song’s buoyant swagger is next to impossible.
Hoy’s vocal is usually the most engaging element in the mix, and in this way, his new single isn’t much different from the songs we heard on previous records. Where “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” is completely different from its predecessors is in its flawless amalgamation of influences, which had previously translated as being a bit more scattered in this group’s similarly-structured content. There’s no hesitation here, no concealing any of the emotion in our singer’s voice behind a blustery wave of guitar and bass destruction. We’re in a room, alone with Greg Hoy and his thoughts in this song, and what transpires inside the running time comes at the whim of his heart and his heart alone.
A swift shift in tempo punches is square in the jaw around the middle mark in the song, and while it’s a heck of a kick when we’re least expecting it, this change doesn’t make the introduction to the verses any less chills-inducing upon repeat listening sessions. “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” is stacked as progressively high as this band’s chips can account for, and though I would stop short of describing it as a step in a conceptual direction far artsier than any Hoy has tried previously, it’s a new recipe for success regardless. You don’t have to be a long-term follower to feel the maturing energy beneath this song’s lines, but for those of us who are, I believe it’s the aesthetical arrival we’ve been waiting for.
“Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” concludes in a flurry of hard rock shards only to feel as though its story has just begun (perhaps an understated hint at what this group is going to record in their next album). I’ve been keeping a close eye on Greg Hoy for a while now, and at this time, I’m very happy I have. He’s pulling together all of the essential pieces in his sound to develop a legendary status in the American underground one day, and if his band’s momentum grows much stronger, that day is going to come a lot sooner than some critics would think. I’d make a big bet on his being in the spotlight throughout the 2020s, and in “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody,” he’s making that quite the desirable wager.