Hollywood Hangover
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Hollywood Hangover


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This band has not uploaded any videos



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Dark, sweeping synth flourishes? Check. Simple, vocal-led breakdowns? Yup. Chugging crescendos that unleash the final chorus? Mmmmmcheck! Hollywood Hangover's local brand of brooding alternative rock with keyboards is scoring the quintet a hefty numbers of daily plays and tips of the hat in the form of gigs from clubs like Rossville's own L'Amour, but you might want to hear it yourself. Shades of Alice in Chains, mixed with more modern influences like grooves a la The Killers rear their rocking heads on "Empty Promises" and "12 gauge," proving Hollywood Hangover's willingness to turn it up and churn it out.
- Ben Johnson, AWE - S.I. Advance Weekly Entertainment

"Hollywood Hangover"

With a growing collection of original songs, these 'instruments for the sangria to express this music' could be ready to blow their covers

The rehearsal space is adorned with a Led Zeppelin poster, a framed check for $25 from consignment Web site CD Baby, and a pair of pink and leopard print panties, apparently garnered at a recent concert. On first inspection, alternative rock band Hollywood Hangover is not the type of group you'd expect to employ something as dorky as a theremin.

But jamming at Fenix Studios in Charleston the other night, keyboardist Bill Gagliardi busted out an updated version of the early electronic instrument, waving his hand in the space over his multi-purpose keyboard like some mad scientist, to magically produce a rush of screaming sound.

Gagliardi's use of the theremin is a plausible example of what makes this South Shore-based quintet increasingly popular, drawing crowds on Island and off. Hollywood Hangover's members seem to be comfortable in their own creations and musical ideas, whether or not they fit the mold of the bands they admire.

"Stone Temple Pilots, definitely," says singer Walter Pehowich, 21, of Great Kills, when asked about a band he'd like to open for.

"311 or Incubus," pipes up bassist Pat Mohr, 23, of Grant City.

"Foo Fighters," says Gagliardi.

"I think we'd be happy with any of those," laughs Pehowich.

That kind of bill may be a long ways away, but Hollywood Hangover has been heating things up recently. The band played Manhattan's Gramercy Theatre a few months ago to a packed house, as part of the Bodog Battle of the Bands contest, and received a positive response. Last weekend, they played a huge spring party at Princeton University, and in the coming weeks, they're about to release new recordings on iTunes along with several lined up gigs all over the Island and beyond.

"They're really good -- they bring in a nice crowd, and they're talented," says Dave Shay, owner of Black Dog Grill in West Brighton, where the band frequently plays. "Do I think they have what it takes to take it to the next level? Sure, why not? Their originals are really good."

Like many Staten Island bands, Hollywood Hangover mixes tunes they wrote themselves with covers, which allows them to play weekend gigs at the ubiquitous cover-friendly venues here.

"We're really caught up in Staten Island, 'cause it's fun to play in front of a lot of people," says guitarist Frank Bianco, 25, of Great Kills. "We put on a good show."

Playing together for about a year and a half -- with the exception of new drummer Danny Bradley -- the group has about 15 original tunes, and are hoping to expand the repertoire. They usually play a 60/40 mix of originals and covers, according to members.

"We try and play covers that fit with our original material," says Pehowich. "Sort of '90s alternative, 106.3-FM stuff."

Listening to Hollywood Hangover's own material, you have to wonder exactly how that works.

Sure, Pehowich's appreciation of Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland is apparent in his abrasive-but-still melodic vocal delivery, and Bianco, who fully admits to idolizing John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, turns out some serious rock riffage with the help of a gaggle of effects pedals and sturdy basslines from Mohr.

But Bradley drives the band into cut time and double time breakdowns that make for lots of change-ups, and Gagliardi's varied and theatrical contributions from the keyboard add a definite, unique quality to the songs, even when the subject matter is well tread.

Two of the band's new recordings, the Spanish-tinged "Senorita" and the dance rock anthem "Make Up Your Mind," are good examples of the band's style: Songs about relationships that manage to offer up some musical surprises.

The band has a lot of fun together live. Frontman Pehowich -- who plays no instruments other than the occasional hand-drum contribution -- dances around like a maniac, occasionally sliding up to a band member and giving a "come hither" gesture while they play a solo.

It's theatrical, yes, and admittedly treads dangerously close to Journey territory, but the chemistry seems genuine. Even Bradley, though he's a new addition, seems tight with the other members -- all of whom assert his skills and personality were the previously missing link.

"We all kind of knew each other from different bands," says Pehowich. "I had pretty much gave up trying to play in a band and just started asking these guys to record with me."

Putting together stripped down regular acoustic sessions with Bianco, though, Pehowich and others began to realize they had formed something that might have potential. Making early recordings with a different drummer, the band handed out a bunch of burned CDs, and began playing out.

The plan has worked well so far. More and more people are getting into the music, and the group is still writing new material at simple jam sessions before weekly rehearsal rolls around.

"The sangria helps a lot, too" chuckles Pehowich. "Really, we're just instruments for the sangria to express this music."

BACK TALK: AWE music reporter Ben Johnson can be reached at bjohnson@siadvance.com or MySpace.com/statenislandrocks.

See the band live ...
Saturday: The 13th Hour, 691 Bay St., Stapleton.
May 1: The Apple Store, 55 Parsonage Rd., Edison, N.J.
May 5: The Dugout Pub, 1614 Forest Ave., Port Richmond Center.
May 9: Rhythm and Brews, 1674 Richmond Ave., Bulls Head.
May 18: The Saint, 601 Main St., Asbury Park, N.J.
May 23: Big Nose Kate's, 2484 Arthur Kill Rd., Rossville.
Sample the sound: MySpace.com/imhungover, HollywoodHangoer.net

-by Ben Johnson, AWE
- S.I. Advance, AWE


Ridicule My Heart & Feel My Liver - EP
Senorita/Make Up Your Mind - Single



Hollywood Hangover is answering the demand for a rock band that caters to the masses while truly delivering both from the confines of the studio to the hot lights on stage. With their arsenal of original songs increasing along with their fan-base, Hollywood Hangover brings no stops when they hit the stage of the local clubs in the tri-state area.

Whether they are playing the famous Stone Pony in Asbury Park or the Blender Theatre in NYC they make sure their audience gets more than what they expect and pay for. With lyrics powered by relentless emotion, contagious melodies backed by an unforgivable driving force of melody and rhythm you will sure to be hooked quicker than nicotine.

With the band currently finishing up in the studio finishing up their first full length album “Songs for the Mourning After” they are excited that they will have material that can fully express their style and personalities.

“Our first EP “Ridicule My Heart & Feel My Liver” was really a time where we were trying to find our sound. We hit it right on the money with songs like Empty Promises, Venting, & 12 Gauge which will also be on the upcoming release,” comments lead singer Walter Pehowich.

The song ‘12 Gauge’ shows the mind being high jacked by jealousy. An emotion that is ignited by paranoia and maintained by anger gives the lyrics a heartfelt meaning that all can relate to when we think we are being betrayed, lied to or cheated on. “Well I’ll figure it out, well I’ll figure it out, well I’ll figure it out now” stands as a Hollywood Hangover’s proclamation of intent and to never underestimate yourself or others.

“We feel that the new songs will be much more fitting to where we currently are musically. We are excited to see where we will go from here as artists,” adds lead guitarist Frank Bianco.

With the bands release aiming to be released early 2009 the band will be working hard to promote their name and music to amplify the attention around the due date. Where ever you are just plan to experience a Hollywood Hangover.