There’s a brand of rock for every taste, but if I had to pick my poison, I’ve always gravitated towards a heavy, driving, edgy rock song more than any other. If it’s loud with a dash of frantic or angry pace to it, then sign me up, I’m interested. The guys from 3 Years Hollow subscribe to the same rock preference, and they successfully modeled their sound to fall in line accordingly.
Hailing from the Quad Cities, 3 Years Hollow channeled their respective rock influences to create what they call an ‘aggressive, heavy, yet mainstream sound’. Inspired by the driving riffs of Sevendust & Disturbed, the rhythm of Incubus & Rush, and the melodic vocals of Breaking Benjamin and Fuel, the band draws their sound from a number of modern rock bands that have successfully found their way to Rock glory. While they are currently in the studio putting the final touches on a new EP, they sent over a copy of the 2009 release “Ascension” along with a few previews of what is to come on the new album.
“Ascension” is a fantastic hard rock album that ends just as heavy on the last note as it starts on the first. The energy packed title track opens the album with a taunting guitar riff that quickly builds into a more aggressive one as the drums begin their assault on the song. What is immediately clear is just how clean 3 Years Hollow plays on this well produced album. While the music throughout is fast paced and at times forceful, at no point is the instrumental or vocal delivery ever overly done. From a technical standpoint, these guys are remarkably clean given the style of music that they’re playing. With bands in this genre, it’s not uncommon to find an unnecessary guitar solo or overly zealous scream to amp up the music. Not the case with 3 Years Hollow, they have mastered the style of what I like to call ‘controlled aggression’. Every ounce of energy is there and it’s delivered in a fashion that doesn’t leave you with that awkward “They shouldn’t have done that” feeling immediately after hearing an over the top element of the song. You simply won’t find anything of the sort on ‘Ascension”
3 Years Hollow does turn down the heavy meter a little bit on “Angels” and “Still Waiting”, but they are still more than cohesive with the rest of the record. These are far from ballads, but definitely show some nice depth from the band. The slower pace also compliments the vocal work on the album by Jose Urquiza as it exhibits some versatility from the other tracks.
The tempo gets kicked up a few notches on “Skin”, “The End of Demise”, and “Make Yourself” which helps show off some astoundingly clean drums from Chris Cushman in the process. The lead and rhythm guitar work of on the album is well balanced and the two tend to play off of each other quite well, especially on the finale “Face Off” which wraps up the album with an ominous, daunting tone.
While I would have been happy to spin “Ascension” for the rest of the Summer, the band was kind enough to send over two demos from their EP (due out this Fall) to give us a sense for where they’re heading. The first track we were allowed to preview was “We Remember”, a track that is downright packed with guitars. It embodies the clean sound of the tracks on their previous album, but it’s definitely a step above it in terms of the amount of intricacy of the guitarwork. In particular, there is a spectacular, face melting solo ¾ of the way through the song. As Urquiza screams “How will you be remembered?”, I know that what I’ll remember about this track is the fantastic guitars of Neil Kulhman and Tony Reeves. The second track we were given a sneak peak at was “Before it Begins”. This song definitely has more of a mainstream sound than “We Remember” and the tracks on “Ascension”. Dex Digga’s bass dominates the song as they work in some harmonized/background vocals that truly differentiate this track from the rest of the catalog. It’s slightly different, but it is still every bit 3 Years Hollow.
With these tracks giving us a glimpse of where they’re heading with the new album, it's easy to say that Fall can’t get here fast enough for 3 Years Hollow fans.
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As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com