Hollus – Joker and the Queen

Posted by Jason Petros on April 24, 2009

Words I will not use in this review:  revolutionary, raw, and rocking.  These are possibly the most overused and wrought words in rock critic history – and unfortunately, rarely do they convey any meaning about a band or its music.  Anyway, Hollus is a strictly analog band.  You won’t hear any synthesizers, drum machines, or overzealous string arrangements on “Joker and the Queen”.  You are much more likely to hear poetic lyrics mixed with a road worn, Tennessean, Kings of Leon/Band of Horses – guitar- rock with a southern drawl.   Rugged production values add to the mystique here – it isn’t without flaw – but gets the job done and does it well for a self recorded album.  They do sometimes fall into Dave Matthews’ territory – not musically, but within the confines of lyric revelry; as shown on “One More Road” – ‘Getting high just passing the time/Watching girls above/All the time to drink up your wine/I feel sick with love’; but such digressions are forgiven when one begins to understand that Hollus is not a city slicker band trying to make it big in the urban jungle.  Instead, they are rural dreamers, allowing the imprint of their lush, created, environments made up of river beds, foreign fogs and other assorted portraits of a true American landscape to shape their sound.  Blues inflected rock music that dynamically moves between acoustic and electric guitars; blends the real with the surreal; comes together, wrapping us in a cocoon of heartache.  This is Hollus. 



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