Monday, October 18, 2010

CD Review: Hollus - Part 1

Photo from Hollus Facebook page.

It’s getting more and more difficult to pin a label on the Chicago band Hollus. Its 2009 effort Joker and The Queen landed squarely in early 1970s classic rock territory, evoking The Faces and Led Zeppelin III. Then Hollus performed at International Pop Overthrow in Chicago, and seemed to absorb some of the festival’s more pop-oriented vibes.

Earlier this year, Hollus tapped into the musical Hair for its video of “Songs That You Love,” a melodic tune with chiming guitars and lush harmonies that sounded like a vintage hit single by The Byrds. “Songs That You Love” is included on Part One, the first of two EPs the band intends to release in the coming months. “Lucy Grey,” a spooky tale that could have been inspired by the William Wordsworth poem of the same name, is another melodic track, although with a definite hard rock edge.

Part One finds Hollus using more sophisticated arrangements while still exuding an adventurous spirit. The songs consistently benefit from the one-two punch of singer Jamison Acker and guitarist Michael Lux. On the aptly-named hypnotic blues rock number “Midnight,” Acker shows a Bono-like versatility that ranges from a haunting whisper to soaring vocals. Lux adds assorted nuances, including the lonely twang of a James Bond theme on “Midnight,” and cuts loose with a rampaging solo on “Lipstick.”

Hollus will have an EP release party for Part One at Reggie’s Music Joint on south State Street in Chicago on November 11th at 8:30PM.


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