Blow Up Hollywood – Fake

I highly recommend, even if you never have a chance to hear this album, that you visit this band’s website. The flash intro and flash site itself are highly impressive, providing subtle philosophical commentary mixed with interactive sound and visual components. Bits of the band’s music are mixed in nicely, crafting the mood to this evolving site that is already drastically different from when I viewed it while reviewing the band’s last album.

Beyond the impressive site and stellar design for the album itself, the music is suitably impressive. This band of anonymous members claims that “Blow Up Hollywood is a metaphor expressing our willingness to eradicate all the hype,” thus the reasons for not listing any artists. Even the band photos on the website are anonymous, somehow, with faces in shadow or blurred just a bit. It’s a bit overkill, perhaps, but instead of hitting us over the head with their philosophies of death, life, politics, and social injustices, they hint at them and have lyrics intricate enough and dealing with love and human interactions.

The music itself is by far the most impressive quality of this band. Like their previous album, the artists in Blow Up Hollywood shine most in their intricate instrumentals, combining ethereal electronics with rock guitars, drums, and bass. The vocalist no doubt has a strong voice, perhaps a little too domineering for some of these songs, but by and far the vocal approach is better than on the band’s debut.

The ultra-moody music on “Born,” coupled with the more subtle vocal approach, makes this perhaps the best song. On the title track, the band has a more folky touch from the acoustic guitar and vocals, while “Oceans” feels a tad too mainstream for my personal taste. “White Walls” is soft and moody, a more slow-paced album that puts nice focus on the electronics, and It’s the instruments, though, that I enjoy the most, from the string-driven “Just Before Dawn” and “Darkness Falls” to the soft and moody “Being There” and ultra-dark “DMK.”

There’s something intrinsically accessible about Blow Up Hollywood, and while you’re unlikely to hear this band on the radio, the more traditional songs here wouldn’t sound too out of place. That may be my own prejudice, for these songs seem more rock-based and use less of the strings and other instrumentation on the band’s debut. But the music here is so good, it would be a shame if people didn’t take notice.