Album – Escaping from a Submarine – Hollow Horse

Posted by admin on April 20th, 2008

  • Band / Artist : Hollow HorsemySpace
  • Genre : Pop / Rock / Acoustic
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : CD Baby
  • Buy Digital Download : iTunes
  • Rating : 9.5 out of 10

Music for me is a real passion, but it’s a passion I was never really able to direct, as I can’t play any instruments very well, and though I’m told I have a great singing voice, can’t sing in public unless I’m suitable mellowed out with a good few drinks inside me. Then I discovered podcasting, as did many bands and artists, who sensed this new media was going to change the face of independent music forever and I finally had a way to indulge my music passion, but at the same time give something back to the music community.

I make no secret of the fact that Hollow Horse are undoubtedly one of my favourite Indie artists. They are among the few artists I’m fortunate to have built a great rapport with over the years. This, their third album, is a great example of a band, that knows who they are and chooses to refine their sound, rather than constantly try to reinvent it. What is interesting, is that as the band has evolved, so have my musical preference. Whilst I preferred their first album, “Five Year Diary”, over their second “Beggarstown”, and said as much in the review, 2 years later, I find it’s “Beggarstown” that is now my favoured Hollow Horse album. The time has come however for “Beggarstown” to move over and make way for “Escaping from a Submarine”.

Opening with “Run” the 60’s Byrds influenced guitar sound is there, as is the unmistakable vocals of Kenny Little, with just a hint of a Scottish accent making a welcomed appearance. This is carefully crafted pop, in the very best Beatle tradition. This is music that will certainly stand the test of time, as does all truly great music. “Ours for the Taking” again has that Beatles feel to it, especially the keyboards. I also love the acoustic guitar that opens the track. “Loving You” is a wonderful track, that opens very simply and builds nicely.

“Bluebell Wood (Angela’s Song)” was a track that quite literally mesmerized me. I don’t know what it was, but this song, managed to grab me in an instant, and all of a sudden, I was seeing the words of the song, played out in my imagination. I think it was about half way in, that I suddenly realised that I had been daydreaming, no mean feat when you’re standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus. Paul Rose, another artist previously reviewed on Indie Launchpad, provides guitar accompaniment on this track and this really helps to bring this track to life. There’s even a small guitar piece that’s very reminiscent of Jeff Lynne. “Making Bricks Without Straw” is another pint size classic, as is “Beg”. “Beg” along with “Run”, were the two tracks that Kenny released to podcasters before the album was released and while it gave a great flavour of what we could expect, my expectations were truly exceeded on a rather large scale.

“I Think I Made You Up Inside My Head”, is a real slow burner, not that I have anything against it, but I really love Hollow Horse when they have their powerpop hats on. “Blindsided by Love” speeds things up a bit, and really has the feel of a Squeeze song, and then comes “Under a Burning Star”. This is a bit of an oddity, especially for an album released in the Spring, as it most definitely has a Christmas flavour to it. It’s also a relatively short track, at just a tad under a minute.

“Escaping from a Submarine”, being the title track on the album, has a lot to live up to and while I initially thought that it was a bit of a slow one for a title track, it helps greatly that it isn’t also the opening track and as such, works nicely. I also love the little James Bond trumpet reference, very nice. “Sometimes Things Get Worse Before They Can Get Better”, must surely be right up there as a song title to get indigestion on, but man is it a good track, also benefiting from a little Paul Rose solo near the middle of the track. I also love the keyboard that swirls almost anonymously underneath the track in places.

The album closes with “Music from the Film, ‘Bullet Proof Sky’ – Suzy’s Theme”, another mouthful and also another track just under the minute mark. It’s a very whimsical track that feels very out of place, and feels almost like a bit of indulgence, but who care, it’s a wonderful piece and finishes things off nicely.

Conclusion : It’s hard to define what makes a song great. It’s even harder to try to pinpoint what it is makes a truly classic album. Suffice to say, this is an album that has great company, being in my mind one of the best albums, so far of the noughties (That’s the 2000 decade, for anyone wondering). Without doubt one of the finest indie bands around. Their music is finely honed and a sheer joy to listen to. Dare you not buy it?

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