Friday, May 23, 2014

"Gets Loaded " by Hollis Brown

Hollis Brown is a roots-rock band based out of NYC.

They have been described as playing rock music that would have sounded fresh in 1966.

As they are on the Alive-Natural Sound roster, one could expect them to be a bit bluesy, a bit retro, and pretty rocking.

This is their sophomore album to their debut which was released last year. There is a story behind this record.

Originally this started off as a live tribute to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground in November of 2013. Hollis Brown was invited to the show to play The Velvet Underground's Loaded in its entirety. Originally it was released as a Record Store Day limited edition, it's now getting its own proper release a month later...

In the end, what started off as a live tribute that would be lost to the ages has been committed to record to be heard for ages yet to come.

The full disclosure here is that I'm not much of a Lou Reed or Velvet Underground fan, so I cannot comment to how well or faithful these songs are, only how they feel to my ears.

Of course, this record feels retro, but it's a cover of an album from decades past.

Aside from it having the sound quality of the modern era, it would be hard to distinguish this album from the albums of the Sixties. It's obviously very nostalgic.

The vocals are where the biggest difference between Hollis Brown and the Velvet Underground surface. Here we have a grittier, but more melodic performance that's subtly reminiscent of Mick Jagger.

The guitars are bright and tinny. The Eric Clapton Era of the Yardbirds is the best way I can describe the sound. Clear, bright, but tinny.

All in all, this is, what I'm led to believe, a faithful tribute to the original album. To my ears, it's well done, fun, and different than most of what's being played today. It's a record that both fans of Lou Reed and folks who aren't can enjoy and tap their feet to.

Release: 5/20/14
Genre: Rock
Label: Alive-Natural Sound
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