Despite the strange weather 2013 has gifted us with, the outdoors seem to be picking up on some semblance of what one would call "summer": the temperatures are warming, the flowers are finally blooming, and the unborn calves are ripe for sacrifice
. There are those that may react to this by heading to the beach and blasting their favorite and fuzziest of punk rock jams, while still others may wish to observe from indoors as they realphabetize the somber pop albums that constitute their vinyl collection (as the Smiths never truly go out of season). For those of us conflicted as to which of these paths to take, Hollow Boys have just what you need: a fresh batch of hard-hitting punk tunes with lyrics that hit even harder and aim directly for your heartstrings.
Lead track "Hater" well demonstrates the Hollow Boys' aesthetic, which they have coined as "Gloom Pop", with its initial warm guitar strums soon being joined by the chorus's cold, blunt statement of, "I hate you and I don't care if it makes me cruel." Said statement escorts the listener into a series of focused and dour pop tunes that clock in at a little over two minutes on average. No part of this serving size is put to waste, however, as each track incorporates healthy doses of reverb, feedback, harmonies, and brutally honest lyrics. It's True also does justice to the band's fantastic live presence, and at its heaviest of moments one can easily envision frontman and guitarist Ali Jaafar (of SMMNR and Heaven on Howitzers), bassist Liz Elton (of Kitten Forever), and drummer Monica Coleslaw intensely beating the most sound possible out of their respective instruments.
It's True is a thrilling listen, grabbing your attention immediately and refusing to let go. Some tracks have sections that demand to be shouted along with, such as the "I could never love her like I love you" chorus of "She" or the repeated inquiry of "How are you getting home tonight?" on "Test Patterns". Other tracks, such as "Slow Century", "Untrue", and my personal favorite, "Alone", simply request that you listen intently and soak up these gloomy vibes. The titular track serving as the album's conclusion flaunts these and every other essential element of the album, closing in a furious, feedback-soaked mantra of the title itself; and when it fades out and you realize just how quickly the experience went by, it's true that you'll be wanting more. It's True will hopefully be nothing less than a breakthrough album for the group, as I'm confident that it's the perfect soundtrack for fun in the sun, the beach, the car, the shade, and even at those summer calf sacrifices.