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"Out of the Blue Review"

Lowdown: Sitting at the dinner table the rebellious educated youth brings up topics making mom's jaw drop, then politely asks her to pass the potatoes. This Columbus, Ohio garage rock foursome never hesitates to bring religion, politics, and relationships to the forefront. The man behind some of the profoundly crafty sometimes humorous lyrics is T.J. Hecker. Mixing blues, sophisticated guitar solo breaks with never straying drums and a harmonious combo of vocals between T.J. and wife Liz, these veteran rockers know how to construct original hand-clapping sing-along hits with a modern edge. Packaging a wide array of music from every generation into one box requires a lot of postage, but these guys have managed to mail it out.


Written by Neil Shumate

- Neil Shumate

"Tom Harker Review"

I'm with Shakespeare on there being nothing new under the sun, and - yeah - I understand the thing about art being the novel repackaging of dull, commonplace insights (at least, from the perspective of us the jaded). The MOOPS CD might not be, by various criterions, on the "cutting edge," but I found it delightful.

T.J. Hecker is a working man's poet. His lyrics are direct and subtly confrontational to those who need and deserve it. He doesn't attempt profundity; rather, he highlights absurdities the rest of us often overlook.

- The Other Paper

"Who's Got The Moops?"


by John Benson

There are a few things you should know about local rock act The Moops. This includes the fact the quartet—T.J. Hecker (vocals, guitar), Jim Hutter (bass), Sparky (guitar) and Rex Siebold (drums)—doesn’t include itself as part of the Columbus scene, but does take itself seriously and has a few new songs in the mix targeted for its next studio album, due to be recorded in early 2009.

In advance of shows Jan. 2 art Hot Spot Tavern on Sinclar Road and Jan. 8 at Bernie's on High Street, Metromix talked to The Moops’ visionary Hecker about his AC/DC-meets-The Ramones group.

Q: Let’s start by talking about the new album, which will act as the follow-up to this year’s EP release “Smells Like The Moops."

Hecker: Yeah, we already have a few basic tracks in the can, and we’re just working on putting it all together. We’re now playing new songs “Let Me Be Your Rock Star” and “Loxahatchee.” This will be a full-length album, and it’ll take us all over the map. We’ll just try a bunch of different things. I even have preliminary plans of doing a hip-hop number on it. I think somebody once said if you’re not falling flat on your face every once in a while, you’re playing it safe.

Q: Falling on your face in a slapstick fashion is what I’m hearing.

Hecker: Yeah, mostly it’s pretty tongue in cheek, but there’s a lot of serious intent behind some of the humor I suppose. But I’d be more like the Wile E. Coyote of rock ’n’ roll if you looked at my career track. Some days you’re the Road Runner, some days you’re the Coyote. And often I’m the dust cloud at the bottom of the canyon. It’s been a long hard road is what I’m saying.

Q: Is that why your Web site boasts “Gleefully obnoxious rock ’n’ roll?”

Hecker: Yeah, that’s us because we’re loud, abrasive and kind of in your face. We just have a lot of fun with it. We have that sort of Bon Scott mentality, where he just enjoys annoying people.

Q: Does your set include any covers?

Hecker: We do a lot of covers. Like we do The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which I realize isn’t the most original choice of what you can do from them, but people like it. And then we do “Monkey Man” by The (Rolling) Stones and “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin, which again isn’t necessarily the most original choice, but what the hell—it’s a great tune if you can pull it off. We also do Lou Reed’s “Hangin’ Round” off “Transformer.”

Q: At the very least, The Moops appear to be quite different from most other acts in the Columbus music scene.

Hecker: I don’t know if we’re necessarily in the scene, per se. That’s the thing, we’re kind of just trying to appeal to whoever wants to listen to us. We don’t really have that kind of scenester mentality. But I have no idea. That’s really for other people to judge. We’re just kind of like old vaudevillians, we love that old, simple 1-4-5 rock ’n’ roll style. We just don’t want to see it die, so we’re doing the best we can to keep it alive.

John Benson - Metro Mix Columbus (Jan 1, 2009)
- John Benson

"Rockabilly Magazine Review"

The Moops
"Smells Like The Moops"

6 fun tracks of clever, swerving rock (including a pumped-up Robert Johnson re-creation) culminate in song 7's gripping and layered, long-form jam; feral guitar is loosed from its leash to rampage.

Recommended Tracks "Too Cool For You," " Dead Rabbit"
- Orlando Rios

"Rock The Docks 2009 Preview"

"The Moops—Great rock jam band from Columbus, Ohio. They often inject their humor into their music, and with these guys, there is never a dull moment." - Buzz Bin Magazine, Akron, OH

"Columbus Alive Review"

"...The Moops are actually quite competent as musicians. This new record is full of bar-band jams that far exceed the skills of your average happy-hour hacks." - Chris DeVille


"Dressed For Failure" CD released August 2006
"Smells Like The Moops" CD released December 2008.

Tracks from both albums have aired on a number of independent radio stations across the nation. They are also on the Live 365 internet station, Power Pop Network.



Never ones to let such things as critical revulsion or a total lack of public interest get in their way, the Moops have been alternately rocking, befuddling, and annoying audiences since the spring of 2001, when T.J. Hecker and company took the stage for the very first Moops show at Victorian’s Midnight Café on May 18 of that year, playing nearly two hours for a sparse but appreciative crowd.

Nearly a decade later, little has changed but the band’s line-up. Only T.J. remains, continuing his noble attempts at lead guitar, vocals, and other assorted rude noises. He is now joined by Jim Hutter on bass (ex-Epicureans) and drummer Rex Seibold. Rex is far and away the most experienced member of the group, having spent time in the final lineup of The Buckinghams.

If it has not become abundantly clear, the Moops and their music are not meant to be taken all that seriously. From their jokey name to their deliberately amateurish logo to the title of their CD, “Dressed For Failure”, it becomes clear that the Moops have never made a serious bid for artistic respectability. They are, in essence, a collective of amateur musicologists with a sense of humor. From their extensive experience and deep appreciation for the history of popular music, they have gathered a voluminous repertoire of cover songs. Their original songs are largely homage to and parodies of the many diverse styles found in that same rich pantheon, filled with little musical gags and amusing lyrical turns of phrase. Essentially, the band is one elaborate joke.

That they don’t take themselves seriously, however, is not to say that they don’t take performing seriously. The Moops are all seasoned players who take pride in their craft; to put it as succinctly as possible, they rock. An audience of any sort can enjoy the Moops supremely, whether they get the joke or not. The band’s wide variety of material enables them to tailor each set to a particular audience or venue, and they are good enough to have been mentioned in several local music magazines and featured on WCBE 90.5 FM, WDCM 97.5 FM and various programs on WWCD 101.1. In short, just about everyone can find something to like about them.