Hollowstar are a four-piece rock band consisting of brothers Joe (vocals and bass) and Jack Bronson (drums), Phil Haines and Tom Collett (guitars). They had been playing together during their formative school years and then took a bit of a break while they all went their separate ways but have been back together for a while now, establishing a reputation as a solid live band. Their debut EP is due for release in June and it’s been worth the wait. What has been put together is a well-crafted, well produced, great sounding EP.
Each of the tracks fits together, all with their own identity but a cohesive feel. ‘Lay Down’ opening with feedback, footsteps and guitar riffs followed by dirty low bass and thwacking, thumping drums. Enter the vocals and what do you get.? Oh great lyrics, great tune, great catchy feel that’s what!
‘Holding it Together’, rhythmic drum opening sort of reminding me of ‘Chelsea Dagger’ but that’s where the short-lived similarity ends. This is a big tune – big guitars grinding along against the bass and drums. Lovely gravel to Joe’s voice. He definitely has got some power lurking in there but grit and gravel take the lead. I love this track however I want the vocal to open- up, give it some power and passion.
‘Feel the Burn’, this has a gentler feel to the opening of the track, bluesy guitars and a bluesy vocal to match, beautifully melodic then those drums crashing and grabbing through. Slower tempo and a multi-facetted track tinged with sadness and anger all wound together in an outstanding track. It feels very complete, well done guys, awesome!
‘New Age Lullaby’ with its whacking great riffs bass and guitars being completed with a clear beat, catchy, lovely big riffs three quarters of the way through the track accentuate the feel and hold your interest – Oh…and there’s that even better riff and cracking big voice at last.
‘Future City’, another great gritty start with big bouncy riffs that slap you in the face and make you reel from the sheer togetherness of another well written and performed track. One for the live performances this one. Ear-wormingly good.
‘Guilty’ -No messing around here! – straight into another blistering guitar leaden track. I want to hear more passion in the vocal, it’s simmering below the surface and musically I think the track has that passion but I wanted the vocal to almost let go – let that guilt out.. show me you care!
The whole EP has a distinct identity – great guitars, pulsing and crashing beats and a great gravelly vocal. Well written tracks, solid lyrics, memorable chorus, and although the band are billed as hard/classic rock, it has a very blues vibe running through from the guitars and Joe’s wonderfully gravelly toned voice.. I think he has more lurking, more to give and I’m definitely going to see if this comes across during live performances.
You can sense these guys have been playing and growing together for a while, the EP is grown up – gelled, glued together by a musicianship that comes from each individual just fitting together to form a completeness. It will be interesting to see where they go next as the ability is there, I find myself wanting to hear another dimension in their song-writing. More colours, a different complexity as I think they can handle it. I enjoyed this EP very much so definitely one to buy and a band to watch.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see Hollowstar during their forthcoming tour. I will see you there!