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| 8 April 2016 | Reply

5 May, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Hollis Brown - 3 Shots

Hollis Brown have one foot in a sort of modern hipster take on the West Coast Eagles/Fleetwood Mac/Neil Young easy listening sound of the ‘70s on their fifth album, but they’re never afraid to mix it up with a pinch of bluesy rock, a hint of gospel verve, or an indie folk twist.

Musically the band have a lot going for them – their atmospherics, songwriting and harmonics are faultless, their tunes dynamic and interesting, and never overplayed. Whilst I am not personally a fan of Mike Montalli’s Neil Young-like singing voice in his higher registers, I know it will appeal to many, and he certainly has the chops and charisma to carry these tunes.

Cathedral and 3 Shots open the show in that aforementioned mellow Eagles/Mac sort of way. Understated but nice. John Wayne looks like heading down a more hipster path before guitars start riffing and soloing and it turns into something more akin to The Rival Sons work.

Rain Dance is similarly soulfully rocking – never off the charts, or cranked up to eleven, just good old fashioned Americana-steeped rock n’ roll – and by this stage Hollis Brown seem like a completely different band to their two opening salvos.

Sandy introduces a touch of gospel rhythm to the mix, a driving and impassioned song that is another highlight here. Sweet Tooth smacks too much of generic ‘80s pop rock to truly engage, despite its catchy hook, and Highway 1 – featuring vocalist Nikki Lane in a lively duet – takes us back to Fleetwood Mac territory in fine style.

Wait For Me Virginia sees Montalli adopting the role of a soldier writing to his lover, hoping to see her after he gets home. It’s a moving tribute and a lovely song.

3 Shots wraps up with the Latin pop flavours of Mi Amor and another track which makes fine use of dynamics, in The Ballad Of Mr Rose.

Category: CD Reviews

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