Hollowstar – ‘Some Things Matter’

By Adam Graver

Hollowstar are a band that seem to have been around in the UK hard rock scene for sometime. With countless support slots and gigs nationwide they have become one of the first bands on peoples’ lips when UK southern rock is being discussed. Somehow though, after playing shows and touring for over two years, Hollowstar’s recent EP ‘Some Things Matter’ is their first. Despite this being their debut release however, the band have had plenty of time to perfect their sound which has resulted in a polished, well executed bunch of tracks that many bands would take much longer to achieve.

Whilst the overall feel of ‘Some Things Matter’ is reminiscent of recent Black Stone Cherry releases or ’90s southern rock, there is a bluesy side to it that many shy away from in the 21st Century. Opener ‘Lay Down’ is brash, blues-rock driven by rhythm guitar, with an early focus on bringing out the best in singer Joe Bonson’s vocals. There’s a distinctive energy that can be felt in the opening track that’s often missing from this genre and sets the EP on a good early course.

‘Feel the Burn’ is a pure rock ballad with uninspiring riffs performed with wonderful execution. There’s nothing special about the lead in to the track and it seems destined to be background music for a night in with friends, but, as the song progresses, you can’t help but feel like you’re back in the ’80s listening to classic Def Leppard. Rhythm and bass balance and converge in a special way whilst the lead guitar diverges from the core melody to provide an impressive finale to the track. For fans of ’80s metal and rock, this is the track for you on this debut release.

The issue many will have with ‘Some Things Matter’ is that there’s nothing entirely innovative about it. With bands such as Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry so dominant in this market, it is difficult to find a niche that sets a band apart and, although Hollowstar haven’t found one, they have created a record that is powerful, confident and sets the bar very high for future releases. ‘Future City’ and ‘Guilty’ could sit on any ’80s/’90s hard rock record and be fan favourites, whilst ‘New Age Lullaby’ would likely be much stronger on a live stage.

It would be unfair to suggest the ‘Some Things Matter’ is not a strong debut: it’s polished, well crafted and fits a certain formula. With hard rock having a resurgence recently however, especially in the UK, bands like Hollowstar need to work harder to stand out. ‘Lay Down’ and the energy from the start of the EP need channelling in the future, but it’s possible that this band could become something special.

ADAM GRAVER

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