Hollywood Avenue
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Hollywood Avenue

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New Jersey band Hollywood Ave. presents a rarity in the pop/rock world: A band that can write music with a real sense of melody and balance, as well as lyrics that don’t seem to give in to all those 14-year-old girls who put on way too much makeup and take photos of themselves in the mirror for their Myspace pages.

The only real comparison I can make to Hollywood Ave. is a softer, more melodic and less emo version of Boys Night Out.

The 13-song CD Poseidon’s Piano is essentially two separate pieces: the eight songs that make up “Poseidon’s Piano” and the five songs that make up “Adventures: Volume I,” which is comprised of remastered tracks from their previous album The World Needs Symmetry.

The “Poseidon’s Piano” section is presented as one whole unit, with themes and lyrics that reappear throughout the section, panning out like a musical epic poem. Beginning with the brief track “Telling the Tale: Kingdom Come,” the band sets the album’s mood of desire and denial.

Standing out in the early parts of the album is “Ocean’s End Part 1: Poseidon’s Piano,” as well as “The Candle and The Dagger.” Both feature strong choruses that are infectious, forcing you to sing along because you just want to.

Throughout the “Poseidon’s Piano” section, Hollywood Ave. shows that they can balance their melodies very well with the strong distortions of their guitars and the driving bass and cymbals from the drums. The vocal melodies and harmonies are also well done.

Tracks 5 and 6 aren’t quite as strong as tracks 3 and 4, but with track 7, the band delivers the same style, bringing it back to the earlier level.

The section’s closer, “Ocean’s End Part 2: Timbers are Talking,” shows off the band’s vocal abilities in a five minute acoustic ballad which brings the album’s initial crescendo from the first to second track back down.

The “Adventures: Volume I” section is not quite as strong as the first. These songs are a collection of singles from previous work, so they don’t feel as cohesive as the earlier tracks.

Tracks 9 and 13 are the standouts among the second section. Though tracks 10-12 are just as long as most of the tracks in the “Poseidon’s Piano” section, they feel like they drag, which is probably due to the lack of a central theme amongst the songs. Tracks 9 and 13 are the shortest tracks in the section and retain the balance of melody and aggression that exudes from “Poseidon’s Piano.”

Though the songs from the second section ultimately seem superfluous, the overall CD is very well done and I would recommend it to anyone who likes rock music.


Nate Williams
May 2007 - Independent Clauses E-zine


Discography

2001 - EP - "Step Aside...It's Hollywood Ave!"
2003 - EP - "The World Needs Symmetry"
2006 - LP - "Poseidon's Piano"

Certain songs have received college radio and online radio airplay, specifically "I Left Alone (And Traveled Through Nightshade)" from the album Poseidon's Piano. This song, along with "The Candle and The Dagger", "The Prince's Ghost", and "Short Story" are available for stream on our myspace and purevolume profile pages.

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Bio

In the vast ocean of the American rock scene, some bands sink while others swim. Hollywood Ave has chosen the latter. After a year of relentless writing, recording, and touring, the four-piece rock powerhouse from New Jersey have unleashed their most ingenious creation on the world. "Poseidon’s Piano" was created over the course of one year, evolving organically with the personal progression of the band. The band’s sophomore effort is rife with romantic, beautiful imagery and lyrics chronicling love, loss, anger, redemption, and maturation. The songwriting has become more complex but also smarter. Gone are the days of show-offy self-importance; the boys are beginning to find their stride. Musically, the quartet weaves a lush soundscape that blends epic orchestrations, anthemic punk-rock battle cries, and infectious pop hooks.

Scott Nalick, co-owner of indie label Inner Voice Records best explains HWA’s appeal when he says, “The first time I heard Hollywood Ave, I would always try to think of a band I could compare them too, just to explain to people how they sounded. As hard as tried, I could never think of any band that is doing what they do. They’re completely unique.” It is true; Hollywood Ave’s inspirations expand far beyond the boundaries of rock music, and venture into the fields of film, fiction, poetry, and real life. Tag-team vocalists Mazur and Guizio proudly proclaim, “Kiss me in Middle Earth, or kiss me goodbye” and force listeners to either surrender their imaginations to the Tolkien-esque fairy-tale world of Poseidon’s Piano.

On the subject of the concept of this disc, Guizio explains, “We wanted this CD to take the listener on an emotional journey. We go through songs about denial, anger, depression, acceptance, hope, and redemption. Most importantly though, by the last song we want to convey a feeling of peace. No matter what happens, life goes on.” Mazur describes the album as a form of therapy. “Personally, this is the record we needed to make. This was such a big chunk of our lives and we learned so much by recording these 40 minutes of music. Whether people like it or not, I’ll always be proud of it.” Now with two consecutive summers of touring behind them, a brand new genre-shattering album, and the support of Inner Voice Records, Hollywood Ave are poised to sail the seven seas of rock and gain new fans and friends along the way.