Bunny suits and super heroes. Rainbow cloaks and Vader onesies. Fuzz, synths, sing-a-longs, and yes more fuzz! Seattle power pop quartet The Hoot Hoots bring all that and more as they pledge allegiance to the United States of Have-A-Good-Time, and its obvious in both their live shows and in their two 2011 full length releases, Silly Lecture Series and Appetite for Distraction.
In reviews of their live shows and albums, the Seattle Weekly has compared them favorably to the Shins, the Deli Seattle Magazine has praised them for their "flashy, out-of-control pop sensibilities," and countless audiences from venues across Seattle can bear witness to their dedication to creating a fun, energetic performance. Think vintage Flaming Lips with a splash of NES and a dash of the Unicorns.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Adam Prairie grew up with his brother/drummer Chris in the middle of Midwestern corn fields in Clifton, IL. The two played whiffle ball and Nintendo, watched the original Star Wars trilogy obsessively, and learned to play guitars and Casio keyboards in the bedroom they shared for most of their formative years. They wrote a few songs in high school, but they mostly tinkered with sounds until Adam left home to study at Knox College in western Illinois followed by Chris a few years later.
"The Hoot Hoots really took shape at the end of my stay at Knox," Adam said. "Chris and I wrote and performed music for a psychedelic 60's production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, and we were kind of overwhelmed how much people were into it. That was the first time we both thought, 'Maybe we should give this band thing a shot.' "
It was at Knox that the Prairie brothers first met keyboardist Christina Ellis and bassist Geoff Brown, but the current Hoot Hoot foursome never played a note together until they all reunited in Seattle late in 2008.
Since then they've released one demo album, one EP, and in the spring of 2010 they released their first full length, Silly Lecture Series, which PopMatters.com described as "brimming with the confidence of a group that's ready to break through the big leagues."
7 months later, they released Appetite for Distraction, and it inspired similar praise from Seattle Weekly: "While the group's fun-loving, reverential spirit keeps them orbiting their influences, their high-energy songbook, full of stories about ghosts and robots and brain eating dinosaurs, captures the essence of goof-pop with upbeat, irrepressible glee."
Perhaps audience member Tim Mendonsa sums it up best: "The Hoot Hoots are the band Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes would have made when he got older; incredibly imaginative, funny, energetic, and quite poignant at times, too."
"With The Shins on sabbatical and quirky pop outfit The Unicorns long-dissolved in other projects, The Hoot Hoots have picked up the torch, carefully building on the idiosyncratic, whimsical sounds of those bands with their second release, Appetite for Distraction, a 10-song long cakewalk crammed with tight pop melodies, expressive, lush harmonies, and kooky sound effects across the board... While the group's fun-loving, reverential spirit keeps them orbiting their influences, their high-energy songbook, full of stories about ghosts and robots and brain eating dinosaurs, captures the essence of goof-pop with upbeat, irrepressible glee."
- Gwendolyn Elliott, Seattle Weekly
"Power pop quartet The Hoot Hoots know how to have fun, and their newest release Appetite for Distraction proves it. Their second full-length album of the year is rife with singsong choruses, idyllic imagery and enough peppy riffing to keep listeners feeling fuzzy long after the last track has finished."
- The Deli Seattle Magazine
"We love the Hoot Hoots. They're funny. They're fun. And when they're on stage singing about outer space, robots, food, or the X-Files, you're dancing, screaming, singing, laughing and smiling along with them the whole time. The Hoot Hoots are the band Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes would have made when he got older; incredibly imaginative, funny, energetic, and quite poignant at times, too."
- Tim from Seattle band Sad Face
The Hoot Hoots have, "flashy, out of control pop sensibilities" and possess the "ability to boisterously belt lyrics about outer space and somehow seem tender at times as well- even in the same song. They're a strange amalgam of influences, that bunch, and really, they are an incredible live band."
- The Deli Seattle Magazine