Hollowpoints – Rocket to Rainier

© 2015 Sailor’s Grave Records

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

hollowpointsIt’s been a statistically significant amount of time since I’ve heard anything from the Seattle, WA punk rock getup The Hollowpoints. It’s been over five years since I reviewed “Old Haunts”, and well, that’s just been too damn long. Hell, it’s damn near a third of the time that I’ve been reviewing music. I’d just about given up. Thankfully now I can continue trucking on.

A bit over five years ago, the previous Hollowpoints release was the darling of the day. I pegged it as a must have album and my favorite thus far in 2010. (It actually landed at the #5 spot for my Top 10 or 2010) Now I’ve got my hot little hands on Rocket to Rainier. The new album drops on October 2, 2015 (Did you totally just read me saying “The new album DROPS?” Yeah, I’m pretty insidery and shit, but enough about me. Here’s some important things that you might want to know about the new record: It contains 13 songs. They are all rad. The material is face paced and melodic but with the rough edges left intact.

The band has stayed consistent to my perception of them from time past. The songs are sonically rich with excellent arrangement. However, I don’t want to mislead you. The songs are not technically complex or all bizarre wanking fusion or some such thing. They are orchestrated well, musically and sonically, for fast-paced punk rock tunes. The tracks still resonate with my lyrically as well; poignant, anthemic, without attempting to become (too) epic. Combined, it’s the kind of music that captures the existential angst of a begrudgingly depressing life in America. It’s the kind of tunes that I’d imagine that Springsteen or Petty would make if they would have been born decades after their respective births. (except with vocals that sound eerily reminiscent of Roger from Less Than Jake on occasion)

As I dig my heels into this record, it is in turn latching its hooks into my brain. I have a feeling that this is going to get a bit of heavy rotation though this month. As far as influences go, at least ones that I’m perceiving, the reminders of the Clash and Cheap Trick are still there. I can’t help thinking of American Steele too. In fact, everything I loved about the last album is here, only perhaps more so. Once again I am inclined to highly recommend Hollowpoints. Support your local punk rock band kids. Go to the shows. Buy some records and t-shirts!

–Jerry Actually

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