I know what you’re thinking. Oh, great, another metalcore band. Metalcore was so 2010. Then, I proceeded to read the press release, it was talking about a depressive mentality in the lyrics(I’m paraphrasing here, mind you). I was thinking, oh great, here is going to be a “constructive” review. I decided to open up my mind and give the St. Louis band Hollow a shot. I’m glad that I did.
Out of St. Louis, Missouri, Hollow is composed of Josh Miller on vocals, Chris Godwin on guitars, John Flynn on bass, and Chris Richey on drums. Hollow has shared the stage with the likes of Sirens & Sailors and Torn At The Seams and they are getting adequately prepared to breathe new life into the metalcore genre as they are releasing their album entitled “Home Is Not Where The Heart Is” in DIY-fashion on June 9th.
“Home Is Not Where The Heart Is” starts off with “Coward King”. I had to give it a couple of listens in order to get into the song. I’m thinking to myself, “let’s give these kids out of St. Louis a chance”, and I’m glad I did. I do appreciate the clean vocals that provide a healthy well-balanced trade-off like a gluten-free breakfast with the screams that Josh provides on the vocals. The only “critique” that I have in this song is that I wish the transition was more smooth between the verses and the chorus, it seems a bit forced but sometimes that’s how the metalcore genre works, as the genre is known for it’s tempo changes and at-times crazy dance breakdowns like a band like Iwrestledabearonce would offer in their music. The album does pick up though.
I am starting to appreciate the unique guitar work that Chris offers in the songs. There isn’t that generic metalcore breakdown or those “crab-core” moments ala Attack Attack would mysteriously offer in the music. At times in the guitar parts, as in the case in the third track entitled “Dis/connect”, it almost sounds like a turntable scratch or a Dubstep breakdown, which makes it fresh and it shows me that Hollow is willing to experiment in their music, which I appreciate.
The primary standout moments in “Home Is Not Where The Heart Is” is offered in the tracks “Anomaly” and “Tonguespeak”. In “Tonguespeak”, the guitars are slow, brooding, and haunting, and the chorus hits you like a ton of bricks like a thief in the night, it definitely showcases the creative process of a Hollow song. In “Anomaly”, which is Hollow’s primary single, the clean choruses and the tempo changes are much more seamless and it showcases the potential that Hollow has a band. I must mention the track entitled “The Wicked”. “The Wicked” has kind of an outer-space feel to the chorus where ample amounts of ambiance are provided as a nice backdrop in the song, and the rhythm section provides a pretty sick breakdown while Chris shows off his unique guitar work.
Overall, give Hollow a chance. I feel that this album will grow on the listener after a couple of listens because the lyrics are honest, they’re willing to try new arrangements to make them not sound repetitive in the metalcore genre(which is a big downfall to me in this genre in my view), and the songs seem to tell a story with string arrangements intertwined with the guitars in “Alpha/Omega”. I give this album a solid 3/5 star review for those reasons. I feel that “Home Is Not Where The Heart Is” is a solid album and Hollow does somehow breathe new life into a genre that seems to grow increasingly stale with each listen. Metalcore received the shot in the arm that it desperately needed with Hollow. Here is the track listing below.
“Home Is Not Where The Heart Is” by Hollow
- “Coward King”
- “The American Dream”
- “Too Far Gone”
- “Delta F508”
- “No Offense”
- “The Wicked”
Here is the video to “Anomaly” by Hollow below!
Find Hollow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hollowbandstl