The HollowPoints

The Black Spot

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The Hollow Points' The Black Spot is unexceptional punk strongly influenced by the early-'80s hardcore scene that peaked more than 20 years before this record was released. It's too accomplished and energetic to be totally tiresome, but there's not much to stop you in your tracks here. It's just so much like other releases in the genre, down to the blur-fuzz guitar, half-shouted/strangled vocals, tempos rushed to the point of double time, and heavy leans into the choruses. As for the lyrics, could it possibly come as any surprise that they're stuffed with distaste for society, misfit youngsters hurtling toward dead ends, and an overall bleak hopelessness as to the future of the nation? They're more aware and verbose than the average such outfit, sardonically pledging "allegiance to country exchange and foreign labor," tipping their hat to George Orwell and Michael Moore, paying homage to Ernest Hemingway's suicide, and, in the title track, making clear in uncertain and profane terms their disdain for the American president. The unexpected use of mandolin-like picking and gypsy rhythms in "Pieces of Eight" and "My Misfortune" really gives those tracks a more distinctive flavor than the rest, sounding almost as if a slight Pogues influence crept into the mix.

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