Sometimes it’s good to just hear a good old dose of rock ‘n roll without a thousand bells and whistles. The Hollow can be counted on for exactly this, as their self-titled debut packs enough soul, rock and electricity into their 11 tracks to power a small city. If you’re looking for a rocking good time, then look no further: The Hollow are at your service.
James Vilade sings/speaks/shouts his way through each of the tracks with the confidence of a seasoned veteran, Steve Babula lays down some solid bass lines (especially on the rollicking “Ms. Behavior”), Kevin Barry thunders away on the drums (check out is frenetic work on “Rule the World”) throughout and Brian Wilson provides one nasty guitar lick and solo after another (too many songs to mention here). Some of the edges on their songs are rough, but that’s in true rock ‘n roll fashion, so it’s all good.
“Ms. Behavior” is a highlight as the bands rocks out with abandon. “Let It Burn” is another driving rock number filled with excellent drumming and Vilade’s aggressive vocals. In the midst of the raucous noise that fills this album however, is a beautiful, brief ballad called “In Between” where the band croons “Ooo-ooo-ooo” for about a minute as an acoustic guitar combines with some orchestral sounds to create a lush track that is one of the album’s best. “Just Go Away” is another good one because it takes a more funky, jam band approach and makes for another nice change of pace on this record (plus it doesn’t hurt that some of the solos on this track sound like something Joe Satriani would cook up).
The Hollow are a band with considerable promise. They don’t just belt out the crunchy rock tracks one after another, but instead they infuse their music with a lot of soul, variety and precision. They also don’t just play the same three chords over and over either, instead choosing to mix in time changes on several songs to change up the dynamics. It’s because they are so well-rounded as musicians that this band has a chance to go somewhere, and The Hollow is a great starting point for the band.
By Brian Palmer