HUGElarge serve up sizzling covers tunes on self-titled release

HUGElarge (HWY 61)
3.5 stars out of 5

Robert Malta and Matt Norelli have a pretty good sense of humor. The Northern California musicians comprise raucous indie outfit HUGElarge and bill themselves as “America’s favorite two-man power trio.” The longtime friends — they were mates in Pawpawblowtorch in the mid-1990s — formed the band in 2005.

HUGElarge CD“I had the idea to start playing music again just to give us a reason to hang out,” Malta told Crave online magazine.. “We just played covers of songs that either or both of us dug while we were growing up. Shortly thereafter a friend dropped by and talked us into playing a local show with younger punk bands and that show started our playing out live.”

Their self-titled debut album follows the same blueprint. Fifteen of the album’s 16 tracks — which speed by in a brisk 38 minutes — are covers from artists like T.Rex (“Motivator,” “The Slider”), The Stooges (“No Fun”), Roky Erickson (“If You Have Ghosts”), The Standells (“Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White”), The Coasters (“Poison Ivy”) and ? & The Mysterians (“96 Tears”). The lone original is blistering instrumental “D.O.G.” Rock on, fellas. (Jeffrey Sisk)


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