Sometimes you just know a band is goin’ places when multiple trusted outlets contact you about reviewing their debut album. Obviously they believe in said band, right? Well, in the case of 3 YEARS HOLLOW and their debut The Cracks (out February 11 via Imagen Records), I can totally see why. The songs are heavy without being noisy, and with the right amount of melody. Singer Jose Urquiza also has enough gruff and gravel in his voice that women everywhere will soon be going nuts for them, mark my words. There are elements of SEVENDUST, DISTURBED, NICKELBACK, and BREAKING BENJAMIN in their songwriting, which is a good thing as all four are bands I enjoy, all four know how to put out great material, and all four can definitely get asses in seats. When you listen you’ll see what I mean.
Disc opener “The Devil’s Slave” should grab you as soon as you press PLAY with its perfect blend of melody and punch and a memorable chorus and “Chemical Ride” has the distinction of being one of the heaviest as well as catchiest tunes of the twelve found here. This was my first exposure to the band and I was sold right away. Clint Lowery of SEVENDUST produced the record and also appears on “For Life”, another great cut. Come on, would you expect anything less from Clint? The title track is interesting because you don’t really know what kind of song it’s supposed to be due to the beginning and middle being very different. Either way, it’s a good’un.
Lowery’s influence can most certainly be heard on “Fallen”, which is also one of the ones I liked most, and “Taken By All” keeps the chunky riffs coming, which I also loved. The train picks up steam for “Hungry”, Jose and the others getting a little more aggressive vocally and musically. Same thing goes for “Run Away” which was another one that had my head bobbing right from my very first listen. The guitar tune used for “Take the World” is a bit unusual, but doesn’t detract from the song at all. And oh man, the riffage on “Lost” made this another favorite, opting for a bit of an older metal sound. Yes, please!
The record ends with “Remember”, Urquiza’s voice sounding somewhat haunted and pained as he sings, “With every choice in your life that you make, how will you be remembered”. This caps off a rather impressive collection of songs from a band whose roots are steeped in melodic rock, but allows their heavier influences to bleed into the music, making for a compelling listen. The Cracks comes out on February 11. Get to know 3 YEARS HOLLOW; something tells me they’re here to stay.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Lost”, “Hungry”, “Fallen”, “Chemical Ride”, “Run Away”, “The Devil’s Slave”