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BITTER GROUNDS – ‘Hollowlands’ Album Review

BITTER GROUNDS – Hollowlands

bitter-groundsBitter Grounds are from Utrecht, the Netherlands. Although they formed in 2015, the band consists of punk rock veterans, with a shared history dating back to the late 90s.  The eponymous opening track, Hollowlands is a grab you by the throat and lift you in the air epic punk song with an Oi! Feel – I was immediately interested and would buy the album for this song alone.

Struck Out is pushed along with a ska beat reminding me of Rancid with the vocal treatment and some superb guitar licks. Bitter Grounds are full on DIY in approach although the professional recording and musicianship betray a group of professionals who know what they are doing. The ska treatment is continued with Tell Me Now a song that bounces along with boot stomping prowess.

On Life Of Violence Bitter Grounds amp it up with a Bad Religion sounding punk melody with some superb guitar work and a radio broadcast middle that adds to the atmosphere– make no mistake, these boys are damn good. We listened to a number of excellent albums in 2016 but this one from Bitter Grounds is right up there with the best of them.

The album continues to delight with the reggae tinged Human Touch that has a Stiff Little Fingers Johnny Was vibe. The song neatly ends the first half of the 11 song debut and is followed by Patience where a chunky opening of machine gun guitar supports a melodic lick and then we’re launched into a punk song that Anti-Flag would be proud of.

Pressure returns to the reggae infused beat and is followed by Fine. Alright where we are encouraged to put those Dr. Martens back on to stomp to some upbeat ska! Bitter Grounds then bring us back to some Dropkick Murphy’s style punk rock with dual vocals and fast paced powerful backing.

The opening to Breakdown is a rambling melodic guitar lick that lurches into the reggae style first heard with the likes of Culture Shock. The final song on the album, Trouble, rocks us home with that aforementioned Bad Religion feel and I am completely satisfied and content that punk rock is alive and well in the hands of the likes of the superb Bitter Grounds.

Hollowlands will see a co-release by three independent labels in cd, vinyl and digital formats. Its official release date was December 16th, 2016. Get hold of a copy by following this link>>>.




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