The inexplicably named Hockey is the latest band from the Pacific Northwest to stockpile praise in the press and blogosphere. Based in Portland, Oregon, the four-piece group play a brand of electo-tinged dance pop that doesn't shy away from copious handclaps and catchy '80s-style hooks. Vocalist Ben Grubin sounds something like a wordier Julian Casablancas with a penchant for vocal flourishes as he recounts highly self-referential tales on subjects like song-writing and credibility. The group's first single, "Too Fake" — which will be released on a 7-inch single 2 March 2009 — sounds something like the Rapture if they were fronted by Jamie Lidell.

The band self released the full-length Mind Chaos last year and were recently signed to Capital Records in the States and Virgin in the UK, where they've already accrued a healthy following. Check out some songs on their Myspace page.


Hockey is set to play a string of shows in New York City starting tonight at Union Hall with subsequent stops at Santos Party House, Mercury Lounge and Pianos. In February, they'll be hitting the UK.