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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hollow Earth- We Are Not Humanity tape review

Hollow Earth- We Are Not Humanity tape review
Heavy metal-tinged hardcore not unlike Shai Hulud or maybe a less brutal Earthmover (and with a higher-pitched singer, though that’s an advantage here), Hollow Earth’s first record starts off with a clean, menacing guitar piece that transitions well into the first song, which has metallic riffs played over mid-tempo 90s hardcore with somewhat fast drumming.  The shrill sounds and sharp words from singer Steve are features setting the band just a little apart from their contemporaries- the angry yet soft sound not fully dominated by self-loathing or hatred, but instead on intelligent critique is the distinctive beacon the band has.  They make use of the two-guitar setup that is often merely two rhythm guitars layered one over the other; here, there are a couple of non-dominant but present lead breaks in addition to the traditional chugging chords of hardcore.  The lyrics largely focus on a thoughtful, albeit disparaging analysis of humanity as a destructive species, which are higher echelon than the average band.  The first four songs (The Great Forgetting and On the Bounty of Gods are sort of one song) are distinguishable, but still seem homogenous when divided up- in other words, it sounds like a single piece composed of several parts rather than several different, non-related songs- the last song, however, is separate, seeming to serve as the epilogue to the story being told, and is also notably much slower-paced; it is here that the band’s record title is uttered repeatedly “we are not humanity”.  The riff that began the record also seems to play it out- everything comes full circle.
All in all, I’ve never been that into metallic hardcore, but this is pretty instrumentally sound, insightful, and tight record with an overall good story.  Definitely one of the better bands doing this sort of style right now.
Post-review note about the tape release of this record: the packaging is good, the songs are actually listed on the tape as well as the back, but there are no lyric sheets.  I can’t stress the importance of lyric sheets in any band’s release enough- it’s important to know what the band is actually singing about without having to discern the notoriously cacophonous vocals that anything related to punk has.
-Aunty Social

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