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Blow Up Hollywood, Truly a Cinematic Orchestration of the Subconscious
By Daina Kazmaier
(more articles from this author)
2003-01-09
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The music is nothing short of an ethereal mix of purely simple vocals and a backing band graced with an amazing amount of talent. The sound is slow and moody, yet mysterious at the same time... very relaxing and very intriguing.

MP3: "beyond the stars"

Not too many bands in this day and age can create a controversial image and actually run with it. But take a look, or should I say listen, to Blow Up Hollywood. With a name like that, a band more likely than not will turn some heads. The changing representation of the modern music industry is now the bane of most true artists - true, meaning songwriters who possess a homegrown talent and pure passion for music. Money is the only key that will let a musician through the door now, and honestly, not all of the music created today will fly through the mainstream airwaves. Some bands can survive, though. With enough fervor and drive, not to mention very thick skin, a band can pave their own way through the independent scene and still keep their heads above the water. That is one thing I discovered when I came across Blow Up Hollywood. I was curious as to how they felt about the modernization of the music industry and why they chose to stay away from conventional notions. Here is what I discovered from band member Steve Messina:

Q: What is your take on the "modernization" of the music industry - the way music is specifically designed to sell rather than just be creative? Where do you see the music industry heading and where does your band fall into the whole scheme of things?

A: It's disgusting and a shame. I hope the music industry, as we know it today, completely collapses. We just want to try and make good music for ourselves. Anyone else who likes it is a bonus. Selling a million records to a million idiots doesn't impress me.

MP3: "kite"

Q: What were your reasons for starting the band? Obviously, the name of the band is a bit controversial and holds a social standpoint - is your band a type of anti-stance against the 'star maker machinery'?

A: Yeah, I guess you could say that. We didn't really start the band, it just sort of happened. It was an accident. We're addicts and we needed a fix.

Q: What are your musical influences? Are there any artists you believe who have hit it big but have not sold out to industry standards?

A: We like all different styles of music as long as there is heart in it. It needs to have layers. Radiohead... I really like Kid A. That's a great record. Gomez...I don't know are they big?

Q: What is the goal behind your music? Are you out to spread a message?

A: If there is a goal or message in the band it is... use your mind! You are a god! The whole world is an illusion! That being said, I don't think there is a goal or message in the band. I think the goal and message is for the band and it is... use your mind! You are a god! The whole world is an illusion!

After that little commentary, I'm sure you are curious as to what this band sounds like. When I opened up their press pack, I saw a picture of two band members and honestly, according to the shot, I expected to hear basic guitar-driven rock when I threw the CD on. I was so surprised and even spellbound. The music is nothing short of an ethereal mix of purely simple vocals and a backing band graced with an amazing amount of talent. The sound is slow and moody, yet mysterious at the same time... very relaxing and very intriguing. Apparently, the music contemplates death and the possibility of afterlife, but I believe that the songs on the self-titled album could be reasoning with other issues as well. It almost sounds as if the band is crying out to the world to understand the aching experienced within their music. I hear pain and passion intertwined.

MP3: "it's not me"

The album opens up with a somewhat eerie recording called "holly's kite" which is a mix of a hospital intercom and temperamental melodies. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the second track - it's hard to describe but the vocals are what make the tune here. Very clearly sung out but still quite haunting to the ear, "floating" is definitely one of the best of the album. However, without the other songs surrounding it, the tune may come across as sounding lost on its own. Apparently, Blow Up Hollywood has created this album to accompany a film that touches on the notion of traveling through purgatory and hell just to reach heaven. Each song seems internally connected and you really have to listen to the album in its entirety to realize the full picture. I think it seems sardonic yet brilliant that a band known as 'Blow Up Hollywood' created an album to back a film. Perhaps it is a conceptual film that would not suit the "real" Hollywood's tastes, but if it mirrors the soundtrack, the picture will be nothing short of astonishing. I believe that the quote in the CD insert may describe this notion the best:

"we are only but mere visitors to this planet, our lives a brief moment in time. and when that moment is finished we shall return back to whence we came. life is a great story but only one act in a play of many. death leads into life again and the story to be continued."

In the words of the band, the album is a "cinematic orchestration of the subconscious." Personally, I can't think of a better way to describe blow up hollywood and the music they create so brilliantly. There is not one glitch in the recording, which makes the songs roll along even smoother. If you are looking for music that will challenge your mind, there is no better band than this group of talented performers. Blow up hollywood had me mesmerized from the moment I pressed play on my stereo. I'll encourage you to contemplate their sound as well: visit www.blowuphollywood.com or e-mail info@blowuphollywood.com.


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