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Hollow Mountain - Hollow Mountain 7" (2014) review

Hollow Mountain "Hollow Mountain 7" (Tall Pat Records, 2014)

Tall Pat is offering up the new 7-inch platter from Chicago garage rockers Hollow Mountain who’ve only released a cassette tape demo on the Maximum Pelt label, some two years ago at this point.  It’s a tight, minimalist exploration into heavy stoner and psychedelic territory, viewed through the eyes of garage and punk rock.  Opening with “Maiden” there’s no doubt the single is going to kick some serious ass from the get go!  Steve Wichelecki’s blasting guitars, with just the right amount of distortion, chug in the back of Esther Kim’s dissonant, haunting vocals.  Exploding with energy and sound from minute one, it only gets heavier from there, the drums growing to a thunderous head before giving way to a fade, revealing the one song on the album which was re-recorded for the single, “Castle”.  It was originally featured on the digital only, Demo 2013 release.  And arrangement wise little has changed.  “Castle” more than probably any other song on the single, drives home the point that Hollow Mountain has gotten substantially louder and heavier than in their past recordings, while also illustrating that aside from some volume, and perhaps a bit of confidence, little has changed in the band and their earlier self-released demo material.  The recognizable crushing riff of “Castle” is untouched and still fuels the rest of the song kicking things into high gear for the third track, “People Are Alike All Over”.  To be honest it sounds like a song that was left off of their Demo 2012 release, which I mean as an extremely high compliment.  It has all the naïve essence of a band just beginning, but perfectly teamed with a glorious ear for fits of distortion, tasty instrumental breaks and plenty space to let the vocals really hit you with the power and majesty of their delivery.  When you run into people here in a month or two and they’re mumbling the words to a song that’s embedded like nails in their brain, it’s probably going to be “People Are Alike All Over”!  The last song on the single is “Gaia” which just takes the energy to the next level.  Most of the other songs on here sound like heavily sped up garage rock with a touch of punk in them and a heady dash of stoned psychedelia, but “Gaia” has an out-and-out punk rock soul at the heart of it.  There’s some extremely gnarly heavy tempo breaks in the song that firmly anchors it in the Hollow Mountain gallery of work, but there’s also a relentless punk energy burning at the heart of “Gaia” that you just can’t extinguish!  Four tracks of devastating riffage, gnarly punk and tasty, stoney psychedelic garage rock…  I don’t know what else you want, but I’m headed out to the record store to pick this one up yesterday.  I’ll see you there.

Review made by Roman Rathert/2014
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