HollowTown - 365 Days Gone

by Jack Reid

HollowTown’s 365 Days Gone is the second album we have heard from this budding Exonian musician, a year after debut album, All There Is. It’ll Get Better is the opening track, and it’s immediately clear that we’re going to see some development from this young soundscaper. There are carefully processed drums and layers of guitar picking. The atmosphere is maturely constructed and there’s a distinct movement away from the broken chip sound that permeates the first album. Those same atmospheres, built of warm waves of guitar rather than the chilly little blips from the first release, return on Fear And Loathing In Liverpool. The event is a strong one and there’s certainly a better mastery of blending the subtler electronic drones with reverberating guitar lines.

The overall mood of the album is far less bleak than that of All There Is, though sometimes when the mood rises a little too much, it doesn’t really connect for me. Tracks like Dr Drafa lack intensity and are arranged in a more orthodox way, with drums and layers of guitars coming to form what is almost an amateur rock instrumental. The same goes, to some extent, for Yung Run. Though there is some really interesting shredding on this track, it’s not really where HollowTown shines the brightest. Where HollowTown shines the brightest is in Rust’s Programming, where slow and heavy atmospheres gather over a lazy drum beat.

I would say that the key defining characteristic that separates 365 Days Gone from All There Is, is that the former exudes stifling heat where the latter feels chilled to the bone. It’s reflected on the album artwork. Both the tone and title of Daytime Drinking feels like summer heat, down to the bassline noodling at the close of the track. There are other hints too, like in Ode To Hate Mail, where the focus shifts towards guitars played in a style that evokes the quieter moments of the post-hardcore, reminiscent of bands like La Dispute. It’s an interesting shift, and not an unwelcome one when it is executed deftly.