On HOLLYWOOD‘s debut studio album “Stunts,” the band from Baltimore has balanced the blown out fidelity on their first singles (compiled on 2009’s “Hits! An All Time Low”) with 12 newly spit-shined rock ‘n’ roll barnburners. While no members were hurt during the recording of “Stunts,” the sounds captured should carry the warning: KIDS, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
“Stunts” perspective listener is advised to proceed with safety goggles and flame retardant pantaloons. (Scary) Cemetery opens the album in the key of demonic blues punk, with much fuzz, exploding reverb, and a boogie-woogie-man chorus. Fire & Grits is one-half hillbilly and one-half punk, in the spirit of The Cramps, with added cowbell and a breakdown inspired from Juicy Jay’s club banger “Fiyayaya Weed”. Doctors Note deploys a glam-rock-waltz set to the tune of a day spent in bed after a night sipping cough syrup, while Toe-to-Toe momentarily gets you back on your feet with a cave stomp ode to fighting and fornication. Buzzsaw guitars? Check. Hippie percussion? Check. Songs about cleavage put to Macgyver-esque ends on Treasure Chest, an angry eunuch on Hater (by Nature), and a Nazi film industry on Sieg Hollywood keep their tongues firmly planted in cheek, but are captured here with the primal ardor that holds true to the bands wildly unhinged live act.
Recorded by Cat Freeland at Beat Babies Studios, and mixed and mastered by Jim Diamond at his famous Ghetto Recorders where bands including The Dirtbombs, Andre Williams, The Ponys, Compulsive Gamblers, Bantom Rooster, and The Clone Defects benefited from his velvet touch.
Maximum Rock n Roll - “…Think of them as stripped down MUDHONEY. The singer alternately reminds me of MARK ARM (MUDHONEY). TIMMY VULGAR (HUMAN EYE-era) and GREG LOWERY (ZODIAC KILLERS-era). It is an odd combination of sing-song-y, off-kilter, high-pitched whine. I am impressed he can change from one style to the other within the same song. That takes talent.”
Baltimore City Paper - “…that’s sorta the nut of the Hollywood vibe: heavy, earnestly lo-fi garage-punk cut with enough pop (Ramones-y’s the word) and good times that it tends to stand out from the pack, at the very least in some part because it doesn’t have the self-absorption of so much of the lo-fi movement. …This is what pounding two shots and a beer after an awful day at work feels like: the newfound ability to take all of the garbage and breathe it back at the world as fire.”