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Hollis Brown - Gets Loaded LP
Limited edition starburst color vinyl.
Alive Natural Sound Records
New York City's Hollis Brown (a band, not a person) have a tight, sparse classic rock sound that incorporates melodic pop, slight country touches, and, underneath it all, a kind of bedrock blues sensibility, all of which makes their roots-oriented sound feel warm and genuine. They bring those same qualities to this set, but it is still a bit of a curve ball, given that it isn't an album of new songs from songwriters Mike Montali and Jon Bonilla, but is instead a song-for-song re-creation of the Velvet Underground's 1970 classic album Loaded, which means these are Lou Reed songs, done with reverence, but gently re-imagined. Gets Loaded, which was released in support of Record Store Day, began when Hollis Brown was asked to perform at New York City's Bowery Electric at a tribute show for Reed in November of 2013. The band performed Loaded live in its entirety, later repeating the feat in the studio for this release. Loaded was arguably the Velvet Underground's most accessible and commercially successful album, featuring Reed and VU classics like "Sweet Jane," "Rock & Roll," and "Head Held High," and Hollis Brown do not try to note-for-note them, but simply fold these songs into their own style, although for some reason they reverse Loaded's running order, opening with "Oh Sweet Nuthin'" and closing with "Who Loves the Sun." It's a fun and rootsy spin on N.Y.C.'s greatest ever rock band by a young band that's pretty good in its own right.