As the album liner states in bold, “Hollow” was quite literally: made by seven men in seven days.
“Hollow should be the record which finally finds them acknowledged as a great band in their own right. If Hell ever needs a saloon band, the devil won’t have too far to look.” Steve Bell, Time Off Magazine
Musically, it sees Graveyard Train adopt a wider approach than their previous releases. The album manages to capture their infamous live reputation and punchy story telling but the drums are bit fatter, a little more trad as it were, and the guitars and psychedelia are all turned up a notch. That said, “Hollow” is stalwartly Graveyard Train, the hallmarks and nucleus all there, upright bass, spooked guitars and gang vocals around a swirling mix of instruments with a long history of storytelling – washboard, steel guitar, banjo, harmonica, whiskey and blood, as well of course, as their signature chain and hammer.
Though remaining lyrically preoccupied with all things macabre, thematically “Hollow” sees a sidestep from myth towards more earthly preoccupations. From the intricate summons of opener ‘Get The Gold’ through the resigned transience of ‘The Sermon’, the off-kilter jade of ‘Life Is Elsewhere’ to the beautifully morbid delicacy of pseudo title track ‘Hollow Wind’ – although the band features 4 songwriters, the coherent theme of disenchanted mortality is intentionally undeniable.
But it’s the closing trilogy of tracks that ensures that, as a whole body of work, “Hollow” resonates resoundingly. From the rousing and more than a little disturbing “I’m a monster” refrain of ‘Mary Melody’ through the danger drop of ‘One Foot On The Grave’, running straight into the apocalyptic acknowledgment of album closer ‘The End Of The World’, during which vocalist Nick Finch goes a long way to summing it all up in one line: “Gods breath ain’t a breeze, it’s a red hot burning wind”.
released May 3, 2012
Through Black Hat Rackets & Cargo Records
All songs written and recorded by Graveyard Train
Mixed and mastered by a weedy drunk who we won't mention