This is the debut EP from Cambridgeshire quartet Hollowstar, who have been sneaking in under the radar and gaining a reputation as a band to keep an eye out for. For a few shekels (or free on Spotify) you get five slabs of anthemic, arena-pleasing hard rock that showcases a young band conveying a degree of confidence rarely heard in a debut DIY release.
The American influences are never too far away, and in places you might pick up hints of modern rock acts like Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry, or even the old school guitar groove of Pantera. Vocalist/bassist Joe Bonson has a strong, powerful voice that seems both unique yet familiar. There’s a genuine sense of grit in his voice, and thankfully it’s free of the Myles Kennedy or Chris Robertson mannerisms that are beginning to creep in to the sound of many young vocalists out there. Bonson has an air of mystery around him, his vocals hint at fragility, and maybe even a sense of despair, especially on the immense ‘Feel The Burn’, which seems deeply personal. The track is the standout moment on the EP. A dark, slow, build up that will see the classic Alter Bridge track ‘Blackbird’ seep into your psyche, thanks mainly to the incendiary guitar work of Phil Haines and Tom Collett. It’s an amazing and mature few minutes from a fledgling band. If ‘Feel The Burn’ (as well as ‘Guilty’) belong to the guitarists, then ‘Holding It Together’ and ‘New Age Lullaby’ are all about the stellar drum sound from Jack Bonson. Nice work, fella! Without the crisp production, though, his fine work would not have the same effect. Therefore, kudos also to the production. The guitar groove is prevalent throughout, especially on opening track ‘Lay Down’, which rattles through a fair few tempo changes. Not the traditional out-of-the-gate opener, instead it mixes it up by slowing down in places, and has a nice Aerosmith-y swing to the opening moments. Massive audience participation on this one seems inevitable.
An impressive debut from Hollowstar. Yet another young British band worthy of your time and money.
More information on how to purchase ‘Some Things Matter’ here
Review: Dave Stott