Review: Hollow Boys - "Believe In Nothing"

Hollow Boys - Believe In Nothing
(2014 Bridgetown Records)

Recorded in the heart of last year's harsh winter, Believe In Nothing is cloaked in gloom from its nihilistic title to the album art's murky, purple hue, reminding me of a psychic-type Pokemon card. It is the second LP in as many years, conceived by Minnesotan trio Hollow Boys, and is an impressive progression from the streamlined drone-pop delivery of their debut to a lush blend of Rough Trade jangle, voluminous shoegaze and a theatric delivery that recalls The Smiths; possibly the Misfits at times. "Spellbreaker" pits a creamy c86 guitar riff against a gravelly bassline. The two grate against each other, converging into a wall-of-fuzz chorus, complete with a triple-vocal harmony. "Melted" oozes into sludgier textures, its dissonant chord progression slathered in reverb and distortion. Overall, the effort is a sizeable portion of late-80s casserole: a combination of all my favorite indie-rock archetypes of that era crammed into one serving. It's a delicious combination that'll have you reheating the leftovers for repeat intake.