I can't possibly make this a lengthy review. I can't! I've tried to think of creative ways to give my opinion on this piece of melodic, tough-guy hardcore, "in the vein of Comeback Kid, Hatebreed, and Terror." But I keeping finding myself back at that very phrase which sits mid-page on the band's bio that Organized Crime sent out.
"...in the vein of Comeback Kid, Hatebreed, and Terror." Hmmm. See, by the time the first song, "Ill Fate," has just about run though, I can't help but think, "Goddamn, that vocalist sounds exactly like Jamey Jasta." Then, by the time the song, "Cold Reality" is also over, I can't help but think, "Man. Those vocal and guitar melodies sound just like Comeback Kid."
And every breakdown on this 6 song EP sounds like... surprise! Terror.
I can't do this. I love hardcore and I hate people who feel the need to bring negativity to a scene that, for me, means a whole lot.
But you know what, Hollow Ground? Make your own album. The bands your label so easily referenced in your bio and on the neat little packaging device that sits on top of the actual CD case have already done what you just did. And they did it better, faster, more inspired; in fact, so have atleast 20 other bands.
This album has decent production, some stellar drumming, gang vocals, two-step breakdowns, violent mosh breakdowns, and a pinch of melody. It also has all the elements of a completely contrived piece of musicianship. Sorry, Hollow Ground. The cold reality is that you guys bored me to death.
An open letter to Hollow Ground and Organized Crime Records
I'm not a detective or a mind-reader. I am neither Columbo, Criswell, nor Veronica-fucking-Mars. I'm just a guy who gets a meager paycheck working with kids that likes to review albums in his spare time. Don't make me search all over the internet for information on your band. Did you know that the first hit for a "Hollow Ground" is some 3-piece hair farmers with song titles like "Toxic Dementia" and "Tubular Grind of the Ghetto Slut"?
I don't ask for much - a three sentence bio handwritten on the back of a coaster is all it takes. When I don't have real information, it forces me to embellish the facts or make them up in order to flesh out the story. This makes me have to type more, and I'm a lazy, lazy man. Lets all work together, so I don't have to work at all.
Yours in Sloth,
Winnipeg is the capital city of Manitoba. Manitoba is a province in western Canada. Canada being America's passive neighbors to the north and a "province" being something like a state only much larger, with more room to grow hops and barley.
Hollow Ground is a band from Winnipeg. Being from the west coast of Canada, "Winterpeg" was always kind of a running gag in the area - that it was a cultural wasteland and the last good thing to come out of the city was when Neil Young moved in 1966. *[Imaginary editor's note: When you come from a region best known for Bryan Adams and Nickelback, maybe you should shut the fuck up].
Well folks, the antidote to every Winnipeg joke you've ever heard is Hollow Ground. Now, I haven't been to Winnipeg for... ever. I've in fact never been there, but if I had, I think I'd be pleasantly surprised that a band like this could ever hail from such a place. These guys sound like they could beat up someone from Vancouver, Calgary, or even Kapuskasing.
Aside from a couple of demos, Cold Reality is the debut release from this five-piece. A six-song crunch-fest chock-a-block full of attitude, aggression and more break-downs for the kids to mosh or slam or skank (or whatever the fuck kids do these days) than you can shake a stick at. As that bald asshole with the ubiquitous baseball cap once opined in someone else's song, "this is the real muthafuckin' deal, ya'll." This is six songs of unrelenting goodness that while hardly re-invents the wheel, will make you unable to describe them without pounding your fist on the table for emphasis, saying "Dammit, (insert fist-pound here), these guys make me wish I lived in Canada, so I could see them on tour, get injured at the show and have full medical coverage for the hospital stay." These guys make good ol' fashioned drive-into-a-wall-for-all-the-right-reasons music, and as such, deserve our support.