The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
Hot on the heels of 2007’s ‘Into Existence’ under the moniker Rides Again comes 2011’s follow up ‘Beautiful People’ and immediately it’s noticeable that the band has grown up….alot!
The band isn’t shy of the limelight, having toured with Rev Theory, Hedley and Theory of a Deadman, as well as scoring hits in Canada with ‘Infected’ and way before that ‘Geeze Louise’.
This time around, with a new record label, it’s all very much more polished and the band now comes much more into line with the genre of mainstream rock that Canada seems so well versed in. Daryl Romphf handles the production whilst the trusted Eric Rantz once again handles the mixing as he did on ‘Into Existence’. Gone is the abrasive flawed hard rock of its predecessor, replaced instead by crisp hooky tunes like ‘Just Another Day’ or the buzzing first single ‘Timebomb’. Elsewhere Jet Black Stare fans will approve of ‘Breaking Out’ whilst the short sharp pizazz of ‘Gimme Gimme’ and ‘King of the World’ are as catchy and memorable pop songs as you are going to hear this year. When Hollowick do contemporary pop they make a damn good fist of it; on the Muse/Oasis mash up ‘One Day’ or the title track there’s welcome respite from the more straightforward material on offer and the eclecticism has the effect of balancing the overall album.
It never ceases to amaze me when an independent label put out an album of such high quality both in terms of production values and material on offer, but Aquarius have certainly done that with ‘Beautiful People’. Hollowick should take a bow, as they have finally come of age and produced the surprise modern rock album of 2011. Outstanding!