Hollow Ground - Cold Reality (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hollow Ground

Cold Reality (2005)

Organized Crime

Certain records just make me wish I was in a cartoon, judging a talent show, rather than a record. I want to be able to stick out the hook from stage left, and yank the musicians right off stage in one fell swoop, never to be seen or heard from again. Hollow Ground are another band in the increasingly large number of them that invoke that feeling in me.

When literally the only redeeming quality an album has is that it's pissed off, there's a problem there. Hardcore is supposed to be angry, and unnerving, but it's also supposed to have at least somewhat of a dynamic nature. An edge, something to grab on to, to gravitate towards. Cold Reality presents none of that.

What it does present, is the very kind of sound that makes pit ninjas everywhere wet their pants, an especially unfortunate situation seeing as they're all wearing women's jeans. But, back to the point. breakdowns. Lots and lots of breakdowns. That's the theme of every song through and through. Vocalist Jeff Burd is the one saving grace on this EP, if you can really even call it a saving grace. His extremely aggressive style is ferocious, and in your face for the EP's entire duration, but even with that good, comes some bad. His voice is solid, but the same cannot be said for the lyrics he pens. The most basic and rudimentary of themes are explored in such songs as the title track, "Cold Reality," and "Final Words." It's all about the disparity and unfortunate nature of life, but, not quite so eloquently put.

All six songs hover just above or just below the two-minute mark, and to be honest, I'm not so sure I could take much more than that. The chord progressions rarely deviate from the chugga-chugga variety, and any creativity the band is trying to muster gets lost entirely in the shuffle. Good luck differentiating one minute in a song from the next, let alone any of the songs themselves from each other.