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  • Writer's pictureAdam Jones - MusicFarmer5

Hollow Wake - "What The Hell"

Review by Adam Jones - MUSIC FARMER 5

"Hollow Wake" has an exciting & captivating sound - with an extremely important message

Today I got to review the single "What the Hell" from the amazing HOLLOW WAKE from Nashville, Tennessee - an aggressive-yet-uplifting alternative band that combines the best elements of emo, pop-punk, metal, and post-hardcore. The band places a huge emphasis on mental health, raising awareness through their songwriting. HOLLOW WAKE has performed on some major shows, supporting giant rock acts such as Secrets, Dead American, RIVALS, Dragged Under, and Limbs, cementing their meteoric rise.

"What The Hell" starts off with an all-out sonic assault; that is, an extremely exciting and riveting cacophony of distorted guitars (Josh Overton & Colin Pierce), thrashing drums (Tyler Whetsell) and driving bass (Jake "Snake Fangs" Henderson). After a few bars of this upbeat intro, the intimate & inspiring vocals of Bobby Spencer arrive to provide the foundation for a compelling and invigorating musical adventure.

The lyrics are DEEP - (but also perfectly accessible to the masses) - it's a song that takes you on a journey through the waiting seasons of life, and the frustration that comes with it. The dynamics of the arrangement emphasize an "endless wait", with musical valleys and mountains that constantly keep you on the edge of your seat.

As the song progresses, the guitar-work by Josh Overton & Colin Pierce gets more complex, creating a sense of urgency that matches Bobby Spencer's vocals perfectly.

"What The Hell" is extremely relatable and thought-provoking. As a song about mental well-being, anger, depression, and stillness, the music almost eerily supplements the theme in a poetic way - the upbeat, aggressive, thrashing soundscape contrasted against this serious lyrical topic is truly captivating. It's a stunningly beautiful combination that works perfectly.

"What The Hell" is an amazing addition to any post-hardcore/emo/pop-punk playlist. The combination of edgy guitars and catchy vocals, along with the emotional lyrics, creates a powerful and memorable experience that will leave you wanting more. If you're a fan of any type of high-energy rock music with meaningful lyrics, then "What The Hell" is a MUST-ADD to your daily playlist.


Check out our exclusive interview with Hollow Wake's lead vocalist, BOBBY SPENCER below for artist insights on the track!

You place an importance on mental health & creating a safe space for your fans. Is there any particular issue within the mental health conversation that stands out to you, and how do you hope that your musical journey can help with this issue?

I think that though mental health is perceived in a more accepting light more so than it was in the past, we still have a way to go. The overall perception of therapy and counseling is growing, which is great! I want to show our listeners and fans that it’s ok to talk it out, and to be open about our hurt and pain. We all have our darker shadows, and only through openness and healthy communication will we truly understand our whole being, and just maybe be able to let go of our shame. I struggle with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), so I get it, it’s not always a walk in the park, but when you allow yourself to heal, there is then a change in your energy and you’re just able to function better. I know that’s true for me, and I’ve seen it true for others too. Our message is there’s always a glimmer of light in the darkest of times. The lyrics we choose to write are our stories. This is my personal way to get out what is on the inside, and to show myself that, I’m human, and that’s ok. As for our fans and it being a “safe space”, we want to invite them into an environment of non-judgmental thinking. If you want to rock out, jump around, mosh, awesome! If you want to stand there and hold a drink and just watch, that’s cool too! We’re just glad we get to share our songs with you!

It's rare to see NEW ROCK BANDS putting out quality post-hardcore music like yours these days, given the rise of the "solo rock producer" via virtual instruments/home studios etc. - How did all the band members meet, and what is your secret to maintaining your chemistry?

First off, thank you for the kind words! That means so much to us. We really do our best to have a “Hollow Wake Standard” when writing our music. So, Josh Overton (Guitar) and I have been playing in different bands together for going on 6 years now. We started a duo project under a different name, and we did that for about a year, but I knew we needed a full band to play shows and to bring in different musical talent overall. We simply put up a post on some music Facebook groups stating we were looking for members. Jake Henderson (Bass) was the first to reach out and be accepted, and then Colin Pierce (Guitar), and lastly Tyler Whetsell (Drums). We instantly clicked when meeting up and talking, and I knew there was something truly and uniquely special about each of them. One of the things we did was send them a song to audition. Each recording either didn’t have guitar, bass, or drums in the mix, that way they could insert their own flavor and talents. We really got to see what each one of them was made of with this chosen process. Now our secret? Honestly, it’s good old-fashioned communication. If someone doesn’t like a lyric I’ve written, or guitar part when bringing an idea to them etc. They tell me, and vice versa. We allow our band inside and out to be a safe space for creativity and the last thing I want is for me to control everything. Some things might be played differently than I myself might play it, but that’s the beauty of our band. There’s so much talent within these other 4 men that it would be a travesty to not let out. That’s how we get our Hollow Wake sound, and I’m truly proud of it.

What is your ULTIMATE goal for the band?

Our ultimate goal is to write music that we are proud of, play for fans that connect with us and to make a positive impact in the scene. I’m not looking for riches and fame, but I am looking for honesty and integrity. We want to take this as far as we can and enjoy it along the way.

What advice would you give new aspiring musicians coming up in the scene?

Be uniquely you. Influences are always going to be a thing, and that’s ok. Learn from them, and in time you’ll find a solid voice of your own. Play shows and put yourself out there without fearing the outcome. The more you do the more you’ll find there is space for you too. There’s always space.

The floor is yours! Anything else you would like to say to your fans?

Just, honestly thank you. You have all been so supportive. For the ones that we have met and talked to, it has been a real honor and blessing. For the future ones we haven’t gotten to meet yet, we can’t wait! Lastly, remember that you’re a value to this world, and though it might not always feel like it, you are loved. Take care of yourselves.

Check out What The Hell by HOLLOW WAKE below!👇


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