Bell Hollow: December 2006 Archives

December 26 2006

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Drummer Todd Karasik (ex-My Favorite) joins Bell Hollow!

Bell Hollow have found the perfect replacement for our departed friend Hayden Millsteed. The new guy behind the drumkit is Todd Karasik, aka Todbot, formerly the longtime drummer for LI/Brooklyn indie-pop cult heroes My Favorite. We plan to be playing shows with the new Bell Hollow lineup (also including producer Hillary Johnson on synth) early in 2007.

Bell Hollow's page on MySpace has been thoroughly revamped, including tons of new photos and reviews. We've also added another song to the music player: "Shukriya Moon" is the heady, mysterious finale of our Sons of the Burgess Shale EP, and a favorite of fans and band members alike. Go have a look and a listen, and order a copy of the EP if you haven't done so already.

Four fantastic new reviews for Sons:

All Music Guide (November 2006): "From the first dramatic sweep of the synth, 10 seconds into Sons of Burgess Shale's title track, one is catapulted across the Atlantic and back in time a quarter of a century. The funk fueled bass line, stuttering drum pattern, and shadowed atmosphere heighten the effect, surely Bell Hollow have crawled out from the wreckage of the British post-punk, pre-New Wave scene. This, the band's sophomore release, is yet another tribute to that highly innovative, yet quickly forgotten (until recent times) musical hiccup between the death of punk and the international success of the New Romantics. The title track hones in on the more dance-fired end of the spectrum, pulling together the swirling sounds of goth with the funk-fired rhythms of the disco, with a dusting of more modern styles that draw a straight line between the past and present. "Bodies, Rest and Motion", in contrast, brilliantly connects all the dots between the eclectic styles of the age, from the proto-gothrockers through the post-punkers with atmospheres (i.e. The Cure), and even future stadium rockers like U-2. "Secret Key" unlocks even more doors, winding down gothic alleys to discover that genre's connections to rock-a-billy, and thus Morrissey, Gene, even Radiohead, and with a couple of "whoo-hoos" Blur. The guitar laced "Shukriya Moon" tips a hat to Television, Japan (inevitably, and even Ryuichi Sakamoto. Darkly shimmering atmospheres drench the entire set, but it's the strong rhythms and astute interplay between the synth and guitar that are the building block of Bell Hollow's haunting, evocative sound. The lyrics, suitably obscure, mean nothing and everything, leaving plenty of opportunity for listeners to wrestle and read what they will into them. A fabulous set, a dissection of an entire age, and a wonderful reimagining of times long gone and yet to come." - Jo-Ann Greene

LiarSociety (December 6, 2006): "On Sons of the Burgess Shale, Bell Hollow capture the sonic spirit of 80s British post-punk and alt rock. Their songs are driven by precise bass lines and drumming, with the guitar lines offering chorus-laden punctuations and piercing counterpoint. The vocals are emotive, tending toward melancholy and regret, nearly reaching a Morrissey-esque croon at some points. Think Echo and the Bunnymen, think The Chameleons, think a dash of shoegaze and The Smiths, and yet Sons of the Burgess Shale has its own essential character. Think of this as a continuation of that musical vein, not a revival. This is atmospheric rock to burn love letters to. Can't wait to see what they can do with a full-length release." - Jack

Westword (December 7, 2006): "While so many latter-day post-punk bands fall all over themselves trying to mimic the more danceable moments of a Gang of Four record, Bell Hollow chooses to embrace atmosphere and mood. The act's songs -- which sound like the Chameleons playing haunted tunes in an abandoned church -- are filled with otherworldly melodies and warmed by urgent rhythms." - Tom Murphy

The Deli Magazine (December 11, 2006): "Bell Hollow is serious music. Rich and layered, the sound is a blend of steady drumming, dramatic base lines, subtle and equally salient synthesizers. The finished product is, in effect, both emotionally probing and light as a feather on the ears. Brit pop influences offer hope to misbegotten Smiths and New Order devotees. Bassist Christopher Bollman and guitarist Greg Fasolino are themselves seasoned veterans of the post punk genre: both gained underground success during the 80s as members of The Naked and the Dead and The Children's Zoo. In "Getting on in Years", lead vocalist Nick Niles even performs in ironic self-reflection as he evaluates what it means to sing "the same old song". Nevertheless, Bell Hollow can hardly be considered a revivalist flash in the pan. With Nick Niles on lead vocals and Hayden Millsteed on drums, the music culminates in a moving crash of tempo and expressive sound all their own. Bell Hollow achieves a beautiful sadness that is sure to be lauded by melancholic rockers, young and old." - megD

And a great writeup on our Drop Dead Festival performance from September:
Nemesis to Go (Issue #2, December 2006): "Taking their cue from what you might call the Bunnymenesque end of things, Bell Hollow are all about atmosphere and understated drama. Their songs exist on the cusp of tension and resolution, on that fine line between the cerebral and the visceral. You can taste the influences here and there: the aforesaid Bunnymen are definitely represented in the recipe, plus a touch of the Comsat Angels, a morsel of Morrissey, perhaps. But the band have their own identity. You can tell where they're coming from, but the place where they're going is all their own." - Uncle Nemesis