The Hollow: The Hollow
Modern Melodic Hard Rock
by Craig Hartranft, 07.11.2011
Hailing from Morristown New Jersey, The Hollow's September 2010 debut came to me nearly two months ago. Though I don't normally review material this old, The Hollow's self-promoted first work is entertaining and definitely worth exploring.
While modern American rock bands are busy mimicking heavy post-grunge tendencies and advacing hardcore overtones, The Hollow revisits basic melodic hard rock. Likely akin to mid-Nineties rock than the Eighties, The Hollow has a penchant for composing solid songs with strong melodies and infectious hooks.
The Hollow is best when those strong melodic characteristics are front and foremost. Notably, the album starts well with those very things on Run Away and Open Your Eyes. Both offer a heavier, more modern, motif but never at the expense of tight melody and strong vocal arrangements. (James Vilade is an excellent vocal talent).
But for real accessibility and innovation, the best songs are Move on Past, a lighter tune with a pop vibe, which can get heavy later on; Ms. Behavior, a catchy rock song with friendly melodic and lyrical hooks; and, Just Go Away, with a toe-tapping, near funk, rock groove and excellent guitar solo. And speaking of fret work, Brian Wilson is no slouch, offering sterling performances throughout. (Dig the work on Ms Behavior and Feel So Alone.)
Perhaps the mundane comes only when The Hollow simply does modern heavy rock as on No Way to Live, Let It Burn, or Rule the World. Fine songs, yes, but more or less derivative of current trends. Yet this also provides a conundrum with the last number Feel So Alone. The longest song, it smacks of modern post-grunge hard rock, but is saved by its subtle groove and Wilson's inspired guitar solo at the end.
The Hollow is not your typical modern American rock band. They neither mimic current trends or try to be so scarf-wearing indie to coddle to the hipster crowd. Ultimately, their debut is solid and entertaining modern melodic hard rock. They get it, and that's good. Very recommended.