Long Island band, Sweet Hollow, is ready to leap back into the local music scene on August 30th with their new EP, Clear Views! Recorded and mixed by Gianni Gambuzza, and Mastered by Chris Rini, the record follows “Banquet,” which was released in April 2019. Before their previous single, Sweet Hollow officially debuted in January 2019 with a self-titled demo after forming in Lindenhurst, New York, in 2018.
Although the band is a relatively new project, the members of Sweet Hollow go way back. In fact, they became friends while attending Lindenhurst Middle School! The group includes Baris Izci (Bass/Lead Vocals), Gianni Gambuzza (Lead Guitar), Matt Grinvalsky (Rhythm Guitar), and last but not least, Tim Geoghegan (Drums/ Back Up Vocals).
“Venetian” features warm basslines and steady, soothing guitar strumming to kick things off. The addition of gritty, deep vocals create an undeniably catchy pop punk-style track perfect for fans of classic powerhouses like Blink-182 and Green Day. The bassline is one of my favorite parts of “Venetian” for its superb tone, which blends nicely with the other instrumentals, but stands out in just the right places to give the track an added sense of mood and dimension. The vocals of “Venetian” aren’t my favorite of all the tracks, particularly due to the slightly awkward phrasing of the lyrics at points (“Watch it all unwind” and “Lost in a familiar haze / Somewhere far away / Stuck inside this complex maze” ) but “Venetian” as a whole is definitely nothing to scoff at.
Although the full EP doesn’t premiere until August 30th, 2019, “Durst” will be released today (August 21, 2019), so you don’t have to wait to experience one of my favorite tracks from the album. The swinging, swaying instrumentals of the track provide a solidity through every shift in the song, guided by steady percussion. While many drummers would have to fight through the rigidity of tempo changes to keep the band together, there is no evidence of effort in “Durst’s” shifts at all, giving the song a sense of smooth coasting through every measure. The vocals, too, have a greater sense of fluidity in “Durst.” Guided by steady guitar lines that have almost a hint of a ballad to them at times, the vocals show their strength without sacrificing musicality.
The prominent bassline of “Impatient” put a grin across my face for the entirety of its 3:54 running time. Another one of my favorite tracks and probably the strongest of the EP, “Impatient” is a whirlwind from start to finish with shouty, anthem-like lyrics and driving instrumentals. The dark buildups of tension and their easing creates pockets of intensity, making sure that the song is never boring. Every solo is well-placed and warranted, and unlike many bands who solo just to solo, the flow of Sweet Hollow’s music shows the thought that was put into every note and where it belongs.
“Galleria” is the final song of Clear Views, and a symphony of flowing sound. While more mellow than the previous tracks, it is no less powerful or well-produced. In fact, its quietness lends itself to the enjoyment of its instrumentals, which are well-balanced and pushed into the forefront of the track even during the smaller vocal sections. The toned-down vocals give hints of Shoegaze while still maintaining pop punk roots and overtones with scratchy screams and prominent guitar solos. “Galleria” is the perfect song to bring the EP to a close by incorporating many of Sweet Hollows’ talents into a track that is very different from the rest.
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