Hollywood Ave - Poseidon's Piano
Record Label: Inner Voice
Release Date: August 20, 2006
On the surface, Hollywood Ave sound a lot like, well, every pop-punk band that has ever existed. Ever. Very generic melodies are sung on top of overused chord progressions. Cookie-cutter hooks sure to amaze twelve year-old girls are sprinkled throughout all the songs. And yeah, the introduction to "Timbers Are Talking" is a slightly modified GarageBand guitar loop.
But what makes Hollywood Ave's debut full length, Poseidon's Piano worthwhile is the huge ambitiousness and overall atmosphere of the album. Hollywood Ave went all out for their debut. From having song titles like "The Princes Ghost (Conducts the Orchestra)" to their top notch production and epic concept-album storyline, everything about this album is grand and larger than life. The songs take you on a journey, and a very well written journey, to say the least.
The album begins with "Telling the Tale: Kingdom Come," which opens up the album with enchanting guitars and lead vocalist Rob Guzio's whispers of "Only I know where you've walked/You're the only tree that talked." The track leads into the single, "I Left Alone (And Traveled Through Nightshade)." Definitely the standout track of the album, it comes complete with catchy chorus and beautifully written lyrics. This song alone is enough to ignore the fact that we've all heard this sound a million times before.
While "I Left Alone" is the best song on the CD, that's not all the album has to offer. The title track features some decent vocals, some interesting guitar melodies and great production (the group of men cheering at the end of the song was a nice touch). "The Prince's Ghost" takes things in a softer direction for a change, and includes dual vocals as well as gang vocal chants of "We belong to you!" "The Candle and the Dagger" is an extremely catchy song and the spoken word interlude at the end is the icing on the delicious chocolate cake.
In the end, Hollywood Ave are working in a very familiar and overcrowded genre, and will be criticized and written off as unoriginal garbage right away. But to me, the pros more than make up for the cons of this album, and the great storyline, lyrics and first-rate production make it easy to get past the mere number of bands in the genre that we all use to define creativity. Give it a shot; it's worth it.
Definitely, definitely do. This is one of the best independently produced and released debut pop-punk albums in recent memory, hands down. If anything, some of the guitar and drum work reminded me more of Coheed than anything from the boring, shimmery, new school pop-punk crowd.
In some ways, yes flks511 - you are correct. I'll admit that I recognize similarities...on a broad spectrum; if this band were signed and I had come across them because of an MTV promo or something equally as atrocious, I would surely s-talk them and be 'that guy' (or, girl rather) who plays it for a friend and pauses it every 15 seconds to say 'See? Did you hear that? Its just like [insert pop band name here]'. I think my opinion is definitely swayed based on the fact that they are still local and not very well known at all. I was impressed with what they were doing based on all the other garbage that's out there I think, so my opinion was actually unfairly biased haha. It was a great review though, truly