REVIEWED: Hollow Leg's 'Civilizations'
If the grinning faces superimposed on Teletubbies on their Facebook are anything to go by, Floridians (is that even a demonym?) are the cheerful hearty sort. Far more than the initial pounding desert-dry drums and the wave of boiling lava guitar that heralds the opening of 'Civilizations'. Evocative of their cross-country compatriots, Neurosis would be the easiest thing to say, but then then the slamming from the Sunshine State takes a more groovy turn, in a “make loud, not war” sense. While other elements (acoustic guitars on 'Black Moon', funky bass fills littered throughout and the sheer weight of the riffs touching on the psyche) are thrown in to the mix, Hollow Leg are all about the groove, man. Witness the spaced-out 'Hunter And The Hunted', which has some space flange intro going on but quickly reverts to type with a massive swirling riff. That sounds a lot like the other songs that precede this midpoint, by that, exactly like the other songs that precede it.
Let's get this out there straight away – this is not bad record. It's packed with solid riffs and great production. It's just that it's so damn repetitive, with none of the dynamic shifts in mood and tempo that give their more emotional peers the character and staying power to keep you riveted for forty five minutes. The rhythm section is locked down so tightly doing the basic that the telling leads sound like they're being strangled at birth. It's on the album finale 'Exodus' that their choice of chords turns compellingly cold and has a chilling chaotic finale that showcases just what they can do when they loosen their obsessions and haul themselves out of the grooves they carve into a chasm almost too deep to get out of.
'Civilizations' is out now on Argonauta Records