At first listen ‘Romantic’ is a typical jangly guitar record, but on repeat playing there are elements that set it apart from the morass of mediocre indie around nowadays.
The reoccurring theme is that of a seemingly ordinary song being lifted from the doldrums by a beautiful, bitter sweet delightfully nonchalant brass section, imagine if Kenny G joined Arcade Fire. The vocals are delicately fragile like an angst ridden teenage Lou Reed with a tortured innocence, the guitars sound like 1979 era The Cure at times and whereas the band describe themselves as ‘post-punk’ it seems they are more like pre and post-punk simultaneously. More likely though not any flavour of what we would consider punk but instead something altogether different, melding melody and discord beautifully as they do they offer the listener a harmoniously dissonant alt-folk-indie rock, with wind instruments, but I appreciate that’s not as catchy.
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The addition of a female vocal on the last track adds a further dimension and depth however the album would benefit from a female perspective throughout. There is a sense of a band still finding its way, this being the third full length offering by Slow Hollows one would expect a direction found and a sound starting to be developed but that’s not obvious just yet. To put a positive spin on that the band sound open to influence, full of potential and possibilities and they are an act to watch for the future. Whilst they’re unlikely to be playing a stadium near you in 2017 they may well be going strong in ten years’ time forging ahead with their own brand of jangly noise with brass details.
On ‘Softer’ the singer Austin Feinstein pleads “make it stop, it’s all nothing”. I disagree, keep it going, it’s intriguing.