The Hollow: Let Me Never Be Complete

thehollowby Frank Ippolito, Associate Editor

The Hollow is a collaboration between two Phoenix singer/songwriters, Shane Hunt and Jon Watkins, and quite frankly, Let Me Never Be Complete is a complete record, lyrically and sonically.

I can’t quite put The Hollow into a genre, and that’s what I think makes them quite special – yet there is something very familiar about their sound at the same time. That’s not a bad thing, to be sure, because it’s almost impossible for one to listen to anything and not say, “Hey this sounds like…” So for me, The Hollow is the best of what Staind struggled to accomplish: how to balance willful vocals without losing the intimacy of terrific, deep lyrics. At the same time, the boys have carved out a very unique identity of their own. And that’s what it’s all about.

Hunt and Watkins share the vocals on each track which are textured, strong, and believable. Then, with remarkable ease, each settle into some very delicate harmonies for each other that truly make a mark on the songs.

The guitars throughout the EP are very present. Too present? Almost. But as I got further into the record I began to realize that it is basically the third member of this duo – so by the end I was wholly enveloped, and with that concept in mind, my preconceptions were nullified.

While I can totally hear what they would sound like live (after all, the record is basically “what you hear is what you get”), my mind races to figure out what The Hollow would sound like with a full band behind them. Bold and powerful are the two words that come to mind.

It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite track, but the last track, “Revolver”, really captures a moment in time that I think everyone can relate to – but in the end, there’s no second best on this disc.