Hollin Kings – Wicked Love
Genre: Alternative Rock
There’s just something about an electric guitar playing a blues scale, man! I’m not trying to suggest that I’m on to something that nobody has thought of either. From the coolest bands running coffee shops in Berlin to shameless Led Zeppelin rip-offs trying to get their hands on those sweet dad-rock dollar bills, it’s a sound that refuses to go away.
But, as is often with the best things in life, it’s the subtleties that truly make a great blues-rock riff great. In other words, it isn’t so much the tool, but the person wielding it. How much of themselves are they able to pour into those riffs? And, how much of their personality is actually worth learning about?
In the case of Hollin Kings, a lot, as Wicked Love demonstrates. This won’t make Jimmy Page want to start practicing the guitar again. But, just like watching great craftsmen demonstrate their work, you can’t help but be impressed with how the Kings weave bluesy licks along pop hooks designed to entice radio stations.
Dan Friedman – Interstate
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Cult leaders must spend an awful lot of time on the playlists that they’re going to use during ceremonies. I mean, how could they not. It’s Ok for a presidential candidate to go with any piece of pop garbage, but really moving people takes a mighty sound.
Either that or complete sadness. That can work too. Imagine a stadium covered in silence and darkness suddenly lighting up and ringing with the sound of thousands of hands clapping together. Why those kinds of mind tricks could be used to make you do anything.
Interstate by Dan Friedman is built around the hypnotic powers of a pounding, repetitive rhythm covered by a belt of screeching guitar riffs. It’s a big sound that should give the speakers of your car a good workout. But, it should also be the opening tune of a future cult leader’s playlist as they train themselves to learn and keep their loyal subjects whipped into a frenzy.