For decades the lines of music were heavily defined by region, with the exception of a few, where a band came from had immense influence on their sound. This made them relatively easy to pinpoint based solely on their sound. With the digitalization and expansion of music, this is no long the case. The results only mean great things for us.
We’ve come to a point where a name and a sound come awfully close to each other within an EP from the Big Apple. “The Ballad of Hollis Brown” was a Dylan track from the epic album The Times They Are A-Changin’. Luckily for us, the band that shares the name is not as depressing. Instead, the New York City’s own Mike Montali, Jon Bonilla, Mike Graves, Dillon DeVito and Michael Hesslein, under the title Hollis Brown, deliver four tracks in what most would take eight to accomplish. Venturing far from what I would consider a “New York sound,” these guys harness a powerfully raw, backwater sound with captivating precision. Capitalizing on the mastery of producer Adam Landry and musical genius of John McCauley, Hollis Brown will release Nothing & The Famous No One this April.
Nothing & The Famous No One combines their emotion filled lyrics with respectful ode to Nashville instrumentals. Kicking off their EP with the ever-addicting “Gypsy Black Cat,” you get sucked into a piano driven, twang laden Southern Classic Rock like ballad. Hollis Brown has the ability to have you chiming in to proclaim “Met a girl/she’s quiet/Daddy used to beat her good/Gypsy needs a black cat/a sad man needs a woman too!” in time with their music. “Ride On The Train” offers a rolling drum/guitar combo that gets your feet tapping along, proving just how addicting and fun the band can be. I’ve found pure bliss in listening to this entire album on repeat over and over again. It strikes such an honest, well balanced chord, I’m almost angry we only got four tracks.
For fans of Deer Tick, all McCauley aside, Hollis Brown is a refreshing addition to a sound that needs more of a presence. In just four tracks, Nothing & The Famous No One has made me a fan and proven that the growth of music truly is great for fans. I’m going to appreciate that there was some assistance from Landry and McCauley to develop tracks this crisp, but I refuse to believe Hollis Brown didn’t have it in them from the beginning.