Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
They forgot all about the library that they told their old men, now, but what turned up was not the star quarterback in a hotrod, taking them down to the hamburger stand for some malts and a little post-dinner necking. What the girls from Chicago band Hollows were met with, as a result of their rebelliousness and boy-craziness, was a date with werewolves and haunted houses. Sure, there are traditional crushes on Hollows songs, but the dalliances sound as if they're taken from the love notes that Gomez and Morticia Addams may have written back and forth to one another as they were courting. The boys that they seek out are the bad boys, the ones that every mom and dad tells their babies not to go around with, that they're trouble and nothing good will come of it. The warnings serve only to make the attraction stronger and the stories of love in the shadows, in parked cars, out of plain sight and behind backs are sexy and naughty, but always in that "Dead Man's Curve" sort of way. These are songs about teenagers finding themselves making their own dangerous choices, for the first time, being misled by hearts that they weren't aware could mislead them in such ways - all fueled by the macabre imaginations of women who have found in themselves those attractions to older boys/men with tattoos, motorcycles, scars, guns and all the cigarettes they could ever want before they could ever buy them for themselves.
The Hollows ride on the bouncy organ sounds, coming from machines made in the 60s and also on the brave sassiness of girls feeling as if they're in control. The lyrical content of the band's self-titled debut is packed with the accounts of females - young and pretty ones - who suddenly realize that they are affecting males in ways that feel all-powerful. They can get things they want and they can go where they want. They can manipulate these weaker creatures and yet there is this lingering feeling in all Hollows songs that there's a deadly crash waiting at the end of the tunnel or that something blood-thirsty and animalistic in on the trail, silently stalking them, ready to rip a gaping hole in the fantasy world of bubblegum kisses and batted eyes. There are guys named Tony (just the name makes him sound as if he's got impure thoughts in his head, doesn't it?) and tragic/foolish heroines named Sally (a name so wholesome and discarded by time that it hurts) and the women of Hollows send their characters into scary predicaments, for no better reason than everyone's horned up and those are the decisions that get made in those moments. One little thing leads to another and a decision to lie to mom about being out babysitting, earning money for college, but really meeting up with a boy no one would approve of is the tension that drives this band. We hear the wolves howling off in the distance, but we sense that they're closer than they seem.