For those of us living in the current cultural climate of denial, angst, and white and black lies, it’s time to get out. With their newest release, Rocket to Rainier, The Hollowpoints offer us a ship to shut our bullshit up and blast off into the personal and interpersonal dimensions of reality.
Originally formed in 2001, the Hollowpoints have been traveling with and pumping their sound into our earholes for over a decade with incessant touring, crisp tunes, and a solid technique for writing catchy, hook-driven songs. This newest addition to their discography is no exception. It is riddled with 2-minute punk anthems, quick quips, and a rhythmic drive reminiscent of ska.
The band, fronted by Matt Kckinney (vocals & guitar), Will McCarthy (guitar, vocals), Benny Early (bass, vocals), and Dan Colley (drums), does not waste any time with flowery introductions or cryptic lyrics and leads. The opening track, Reptilian Way, boasts dynamic riffs and percussive power, serving as a cold-blooded warning for us to “save us from ourselves.”
Fans of the Hollowpoints will appreciate these new tunes because they are filled with the typical hooks, lines and sinkers the band has used in their previous work. Despite the overlapping techniques, however, Rocket to Rainier is unique.
Songs like “Cold Blade” and “Can’t Feel At All,” drive us deep into and expose our anesthetized state; while songs like “Ever Have Your Asshole Licked…” urge us to explore our angst, but not take ourselves too seriously.
For the skeptics? I suggest a good ol’ listen to “Cotton Fever,” where the Hollowpoints really get down and gritty with their musical composition. Lyrically, we’re being driven mad; thrown wildly into the reality that “at 21 you’re dead…everything’s been done and it’s been said,” and made to bitterly accept it. Musically, guitar riffs lead the song, and also play call and response with the melody. It’s the millennial’s sing-along, blasting the listener with nostalgia for the campy youth we’ve left behind.
Their sound may not be the most diverse or poignant, so new listeners with expensive, pretentious taste may be inclined to dismiss the consistency and simplicity of the album for monotony or irrelevance. However, anyone who’s been wanting more personal substance from these guys will be happy to know that the drowned out vocals, punk riffs, and steady beats all keep up with a new lyrical style of personal tales of our fated human condition.
Punk is where the heart is and inside it lay the angst and truth we deny. Listen up.