Most musicians start their careers learning other people’s songs, but few point to the origins of their band the way Franklin Hoier of Crushed Out can.
The singer and guitarist – who grew up on punk and hip-hop in Southern California – approaches the old rock n’ roll, surf music and blues that informs Crushed Out’s second album, “Teeth,” like a student. Combined with an old West feel derived from spaghetti Westerns and expansive landscapes, those influences make for an indie roots rock album with decidedly atypical points of reference.
“I do feel like my writing is a bit odd to this point in time,” Hoier says. “I actually learn tons of Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, old blues and surf guitar songs. I learn all those and absorb it.”
Nothing about Crushed Out, which plays Snug Harbor Saturday, is typical. Neither Hoier nor drummer/wife Moselle Spiller had been in a band before they started jamming in their Brooklyn apartment.
“I was more a guitar and folk-song guy, but I’d never been in a band,” he says. “For the first two years, it was truly just for fun.”
Spiller, a graphic artist, wasn’t even a drummer. But she wasn’t cowed by her lack of experience, Hoier says.
“Moselle just has a unique attitude. She doesn’t have that underlying thing where she’s not sure she can do it. It was incredible how fast we could get something going.”
Hoier introduced Spiller – a fan of glam rock – to Little Richard and Bo Diddley, which expanded to Link Wray, instrumental music, electric slide and country blues. “That’s how our initial band developed,” he says.
Once they procured a booking agent, they left Brooklyn and hit the road, storing their belongings with family in New Hampshire, where they recorded “Teeth.”
Although the album was recorded in the dead of winter last year, it takes on a sunny, Western feel that brings to mind deserts and beaches and blurs the lines between psychedelic folk, classic country and rock n’ roll, and surf – without truly succumbing to the retro tag.
The other unique thing is how positively the duo writes about love. There’s no heartache here.
“We’re very much in love, and we’re best friends. I’m not going to write any songs that are the genre I like to call ‘Baby Done Me Wrong,’ ” he says. “Sometimes those songs feel good in all of our lives. But that is not our music. That kind of thing is the easiest thing to write. It forces me to make music that is 100 percent true to my heart and what inspires me. And what inspires me is the topic of love from that other point of view.”