Back in my heyday, I would go see rock bands at least once every two weeks. In particular, I very much enjoyed going to small clubs. A perfect example would be CBGB, which was arguably the most popular small club in New York, accommodating around 350 people or so. It was an environment where rock music was played loud, and the energy felt palpable. I bring this up because I feel that when listening to EP2 by Hullore, they would excel on this type of stage.

Take “Pie In The Sky,” for example; it’s bursting with enough energy to ignite a miniature explosion. The precision in the music is undeniable, with a groove that packs plenty of horsepower. The vocals present an intriguing contrast; while one might expect blood-curdling screams, they instead feel relaxed, devoid of strained vocal cords. After several listens, I came to appreciate this unique dichotomy even more.

“Breathe” comes out of the gate with fierce aggression. This is a perfect example of how a good drummer can elevate a song and take it to another level. The snare shots, all of which come at different velocities, really elevate the energy, which sounds uncontained and uncontrollable. It reminded me of early Nirvana when listening to this song. Listen to their underrated album Bleach and tell me you don’t hear some similarities. Cobain had a very distinct voice, but when the vocalist goes for some of the higher notes, you can hear a bit of the same register and texture.

“Garden Of Faith” trades in the fast pace of “Breathe” for a sheet of distortion and a more distinct lead guitar pattern. The drummer is again inventive and provides what the song needs, but I was also feeling the bass work here, which felt like a more integral part of the song. Take, for instance, that steady bass playing towards the end of the song. The guitar work also has a lot to say. Killer song.

“Sun Meets Earth” is a song where every instrument shines. The song contains a bit of melancholy and introspectiveness. Those initial patterns brought to mind Soundgarden. The vocals, which are lush and slightly static on the verse, provide more of this melancholic feeling. Once the solo hits, my mind goes back to Nirvana. I loved the lyrics, and when he says “In Your Dreams” with the distortion coming back, it is one of the best moments on the EP.

I was hanging out with my teenage son the other day and asked what he was listening to. It was something I had never heard before, and I’m probably just getting old, but I asked him if he wanted to listen to some of the rock music I grew up with. In typical teenage fashion, he seemed indifferent, but I eventually got him to listen, and he ended up loving it. I hope Hullore and many bands in this genre provide the musical nourishment that is noticeably vacant from the cultural zeitgeist. It’s desperately needed.

Garth Thomas