By Hollowbody Electric Band
Owner of One World Music Radio
A total change in direction for me here, as I listen to a new group called Hollowbody Electric Band: a mixture of songs that have a real rhythm and freshness to them; a sound that is quite unique and special.
The opening composition, Another Heart to Spare is a fine example of this, and contains some excellent brass within. The sound is defiantly eclectic and the simple lush quality of the song flows so easily through the mind to create a really flowing opening composition—a very clever percussive ending, too.
We now come across a song called It Ain’t Right. The nature of indie music these days is all consuming: the quality of bands has risen so high you can no longer tell who is signed and who is not; and does it actually really matter anymore? This is especially so when you have superb songs like this rocking little tune to please you. Well sung with power and intensity by vocalist Johannah Harkness.
Prickly Stickers is an album that will have something inside for everyone, so how about House is Coming Down? The composition is solid, well sung, and performed with such a lovely mixture of power and grace. The guitar and vocals from Peter Alexander are extremely impressive. This was one of my favourites off the album; it rocked when it needed to, and paused for atmosphere when required–quite brilliant. I am certain to feature this one on my next Friday Rock Show.
Wicked Witch was so familiar; it had a real sixties feel to it, the narrative digging down deep into the frustrations of living in a world that you just feel totally alien in. Harkness has quite an amazing voice that can literally change when she wishes, almost like a female Alice Cooper. The song itself drives a steady tempo and the performance is both loud and proud.
Hollowbody Electric Band must be an amazing band to see, they have such an incredible eclectic style. They create a real rhythmic beat inside any song they wish and the fast paced track What Are You Made Of must be a real fan favourite. Pay special attention to the bass line here by Sheldon Bird. It’s supremely classy and deep.
One could make comparisons with other famous bands, and then get lost in the myriad of those comparisons, so in truth it’s better just to accept, believe and enjoy. I did all that on the next piece called It Was Never Love, a torn tale of love and regret. Harkness elevates her vocals here and one can detect a little soul in there, too. There is also a segment of sensitivity as well.
Let’s drift over to a piece called Fade Away. Dear reader, this one will rock your house with ease. It has a nice paced tempo, a little tambourine and backing vocals that combined with some vibrant Roger Daltry-styled vocals give this one a really distinctive My Generation (The Who) feel.
Harkness is back with a modern styled arrangement and Ukulele in hand, bringing forth a dance style that could easily drift us way back to the 20’s. Now this is the cleverness of the band: a slight shift and they float right back into a 60’s feel and then the Robert Cray-sounding guitar brings us once more back up to date on the piece, Men Like This.
The longer you listen to this album, the more you will be amazed and also extremely pleased. There are so many styles and genres crossed you will literally get musically dizzy. I rest my case with the song You Call My Name. This slice of genius floats back and forth from reggae and rock. The song however is powerful in content and construction and incredibly addictive and I LOVED it.
Time to up the pace with a song called Trance. Lyrically, the Hollowbody Electric Band constantly create a fascinating narrative with their songs. You really must listen yourselves to get a true perspective of their talent. On this composition they drive it hard and hypnotise you, not only with their words, but with what is a truly superb slice of independent rock music.
The penultimate track is all about the civil war, a time of a tragic loss of life. Vicksburg was also the last major action seen in that war, with a siege that lasted for near on 3 months. History lesson over! This is an emotive song about the total waste of young lives, and for the freedom of one of those young people. The narrative is well placed and the dramatic effect of this arrangement is extremely powerful and moving.
We finish with a time for a slow dance. Harkness takes lead vocal on the song Just a Wednesday. A nice way to leave the album, this track flows with such a fine quality it’s actually quite calming. The performance here is sublime, sung with passion, but with an almost sultry intent.
Prickly Stickers is probably going to be one of—if not the most unique albums you will have ever come across. I have listened to this album a few times now with a totally open mind and now I am a fan. Hollowbody Electric Band is everything that the modern music business isn’t: they’re exciting and fresh; they cross countless genres; they’re not afraid of being different; they’re creative and inventive; and on a performance level they’re extremely addictive to listen to. Give it a go, and purchase this release, you will be entertained for hours and your ears will love you forever.