A friend of mine was recently lamenting that it seems that artists these days only care about the single, fleshing out the rest of their albums with throw-away filler. I get that sentiment, especially for those who primarily listen to commercial radio. My humble suggestion was, as is so often the case, to dive into the local music scene, where albums are complete works, with every song lovingly crafted. The big budgets of major labels simply aren’t there, so the artists have to believe each song is worth the time and effort (read: “money”) to commit to tape. In short, local bands don’t record throw-away songs.
Take for example The Hollowing, the debut full-length from up-and-coming Cincinnati alt-rockers The Hunting Project. Each of the ten songs on the album feel important in intentional. That’s not to imply that there’s any redundancy among these songs – each is a unique, standalone work that can be enjoyed just as well on its own as it can as part of the whole.
The album opens with “Fade to Gray,” which was originally released as a single on February 2019. It’s a big, loud statement that sets the tone for the album and the band, with a raw emotion carried through and amplified on “Emerge” and “Bliss Notes,” though that same emotional banner is carried expertly – and quite dynamically – throughout the entire album. Other standouts include the driving “Visions,” the sobering, contemplative “Violence,” and the closer “Smoke Signals,” a pensive and introspective end to a cathartic ride of an album.
The Hunting Project refer to their fans as “the strays,” invited from their disparate backgrounds into a cohesive family. In a way, that is a great metaphor for The Hollowing – each song feeling at once alone and together, with the resulting album being much greater than the sum of its parts – like somewhere between a rougher Architects and an updated Anti-Flag. If you’re looking for a good, loud alt-rock/post punk album with no filler, The Hollowing is for you.
Release Date: 11/08/19
1. Fade to Gray
2. Bury Me
4. A Dreamless Sleep
6. Dark Mage
7. Nasty Bones
8. Bliss Notes
9. Smoke Signals