HOLLOWSTAR - Hollowstar (Album)
The four young men behind 2018’s phenomenal EP ‘Some Things Matter’, and with a top five place in Planet Rock’s Best New Band 2019, Cambridgeshire’s HOLLOWSTAR were already blazing a bright trail before their eponymous debut album was released last Friday, 3rd May 2019. The album was preceded by the singles ‘All I Gotta Say’ in June 2018, with ‘Let You Down’ following in October 2018. The stunning album was produced by Dan Lambert at Valhalla Studios and mastered by Peter Maher and is the result of four years of relentless graft - touring, writing and fine-tuning. With the album turning the heads of critics and fans alike on the first day of release alone, the band are set to be catapulted into the stratosphere.
Opener ‘Take it All’ demands attention from the outset with its intense riffage and furiosity from the rhythm section that give way to Joe Bonson’s unmistakable vocals. The twin lead guitars of Tom Collett and Phil Haines wrap around the melodic vocal and make this a real headbanger of a track. There’s a masterful guitar solo towards the end, and the striking ending of this song is a furious jam of all the instruments.
‘Let You Down’ has an invigorating groove from Jack Bonson on pounding drums and Joe on bass, they make a formidable rhythm section. This song is packed full of monster riffs from the dual guitars, incredible vocals, shredding solos, plus it’s incredibly catchy.
Those trademark blistering guitars and soulful yet hard-edged vocals shine on ‘Invincible’, another hooky song that you’ll be singing before you know it.
There’s a slight change of pace with the intoxicating ‘Think of Me’. Atmospheric vocals, booming bass notes and thundering drums come to the fore here, the skilled guitar work tying it all together in a beautifully presented package. ‘Money’ has a grungy, sleazy beat and a repeated riff that is incessant in its demands for you to get up and move. Joe’s vocals are rich and sublime, soaring and fierce. ‘All I Gotta Say’ is an incredibly catchy song with funky guitar licks that burst forth in the verses before things get ramped up in the high octane choruses. It’s another brilliant example of what this band do so well; singalong hard rock, chock full of killer riffs. If you couldn’t hear the words in ‘Good Man Gone’, you’d perhaps be forgiven for missing the message as the grinding beat, heavy drums and soaring solos make this song about suicide due to depression feel otherwise relatively upbeat.
‘Overrated’ has a huge classic rock sound with a fresh injection of scuzzy guitars and that winning rhythm section of the Bonson brothers combo, and those duelling guitars trading lick for lick. Cracking riffs and booming drums herald the beginning of penultimate track ‘Down by the Water’. Resonating bass and stirring vocals ensue and continue throughout the lively verses and rousing choruses. Album closer ‘Sinner’ is a riveting track with powerful vocals, galloping drums, pulsating bass and lusty licks. There’s even a neat spoken verse that makes this song stand out and stay in your mind long after you’ve finished listening.
This debut is crammed full of big beefy tracks that will worm their way inside your brain with ease. HOLLOWSTAR have a winning formula of solid songwriting backed up with a huge amount of talent and attention to their craft. This band has clearly learned an awful lot in the last four years and have produced an album that is making some very big waves in the world of rock. The guys are hitting the road on a seven date tour later this month, followed by a string of appearances at festivals up and down the UK later in the year. HOLLOWSTAR are an incredible live band, grab yourself a ticket for one of these dates while you still can!
24 May - O2 Islington, London
25 May - Ebbw Vale Institute, Ebbw Vale
26 May - Cobblestones, Bridgwater
31 May - Star & Garter, Manchester
01 June - The Iron Road - Pershore
03 June - J2, Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
05 June - Bannerman’s, Edinburgh
28-30 June - Wildfire Festival 2019, Dumfries, Scotland
20 July - Buckfest 2019, Huntingdon
26-28 July - Steelhouse Festival 2019, Ebbw Vale
13 September - Tramshed, Cardiff
07-10 November - Hard Rock Hell 2019, Great Yarmouth
16 November - Cornwall Rocks 2019, Looe, Cornwall
29 November - Winterstorm - Troon, Scotland
6-8 December - Planet Rockstock - Porthcawl, South Wales
Joe Bonson - vocals/bass
Jack Bonson - drums
Tom Collett - guitar
Phil Haines - guitar/backing vocals