HOLLIS BROWN was founded by singer and guitarist Mike Montali with guitarist Jonathan Bonilla in Queens, New York in 2009. High school friends, the musicians cooperated as composers before the band was actually formed, with a name taken from the Bob Dylan 1964 number: “The Ballad of Hollis Brown”.
In 2018 the band signed to Mascot Records, and announced they would be release a new album, titled Ozone Park on June 7th 2019.
We had a listen:
On “Blood From A Stone” there is an instinctive rhythm behind a set of “woos” and there is a definite vibe of 85… it’s as if Steve Rothery (the Marillion guitarist) met Phil Collins on the set of Miami Vice and decided to “do something…”
“Stubborn Man” has the same type of concavity as the first track, but with shiny guitar specks. Here, the voice is thick and glorious. This is neat as New York apple-pie and über-competent.
The first single to be shared from the album: “Do Me Right” is a journey of sweet temperament and wonderful rhythms, with a thoughtful voice and a light aesthetic that’s stuffed with the kind of stylistic features you’d associate with the 1980s “West Coast” sounds that were created by Dutchess County rockers Steely Dan.
“Bad Mistakes” [shared below] is a bass-heavy and rattlesome rock & rollster with psychobilly hollowness and flat-topped, finger-picking twang. The vocal resembles that of a young [and strutting] David Byrne.
This is an ingenious collection of songs about love, family, and some social commentary about the passing of favorite things… the songs are tightly enveloped into packages of poetry, set within ditty-dong rootsy-rock tunes and played impressively by the talented bunch. This has some pretty impressive fizz-pop credentials.
Ozone Park by Hollis Brown is out 7 Jun 2019
Words: @neilmach 2019 ©