Hollow [Single] Review

artist: Alice in Chains date: 01/18/2013 category: compact discs
Alice in Chains: Hollow [Single]
Released: Jan 8, 2013
Genre: Grunge, Alternative Metal, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal
Label: Virgin/EMI
Number Of Tracks: 1
Alice in Chains preview their new album with a strong, powerful and very promising lead single.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
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review (1) 59 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
Hollow [Single] Reviewed by: UG Team, on january 18, 2013
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is the first music we've heard from the new Alice In Chains since their comeback album "Black Gives Way To Blue", and my, what a riff to hit back on. Negative and angsty, "Hollow" kicks off like some of the great grunge tracks of the early 90s but exudes the sort of swagger that only elder statesmen like Jerry Cantrell can command. Pulling off the big rock production with the damaged snarl of Cantrell and William Duvall is a big ask - and "Hollow" is pretty much spotless from a mixing perspective - but it's done here to much greater effect than anything from their 2009 effort, which was well-received but only a shadow of former greatness. This song promises an awful lot more. The main four-note riff defines the structure of the song, starting on a downtuned C# and lifting up to an F# base for the chorus; a simple but effective key change which allows the chorus to soar while the palm-muted verse bottoms out on the same theme. Complete the package with vintage harmonies and a nicely taken guitar solo and you've got something that ought to excite fans a great deal. // 8

Lyrics: "Hollow" is a typical grunge tale of inner turmoil and personal struggle, though we hear the story in the second person, perhaps aimed at a loved one or former loved one whose apathy or loss of love has soured a relationship. "All of your colors turn to grey/Don't even matter anyway/Bleeding impression where you were tied/Can't really say how you lost your mind". The language isn't particularly colourful in itself but that suits the dreary, resigned tone of the song, and indeed Alice In Chains historically. // 8

Overall Impression: It has all that you could ask for from a big-name rock and roll band on the wrong side of 40 - a bit of energy and new life with that bit of know-how. They'll never be quite the same as they were, no, but it might be time to forget about all that and embrace Alice In Chains 2.0, who are proving their worth all over again. A classy piece of work which leaves the new album, due this year, looking very promising indeed.

// 8

- Duncan Geddes (c) 2013

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