VIOLENT ASCENSION is the second EP by Minneapolis-based Gloom-pop trio HOLLOW BOYS. It is a four-song meditation on the spaces between waking and dreaming life, i.e. fugue states, delusions, lucid dreams, etc.
Following their sprawling second record, BELIEVE IN NOTHING, VIOLENT ASCENSION finds the band pushing the sounds established therein to their logical limits: the perfect pop of "Someday" expertly distills the band's earlier dream-pop efforts; opener "Another You" rides a pulsing, ambient groove before abruptly turning into a garage-rock rave-up and flaring out; "Prayer" further explores the gently humming background noise that populates nearly every Hollow Boys song.
All of this, however, is simply lead-up to "Light," the final and most unrelenting track of the record. Throughout the course of its eight-minute run-time, the song mutates from sparkling motorik hyper-ballad to unrestrained bashing to gentle droning, simultaneously running the gamut of what the band is capable of while furiously pushing beyond it.
released February 3, 2015
Written, performed by HOLLOW BOYS who are Ali/Monica/Cole
Recorded by Ali and Cole, Mixed and Mastered by Ali, all at Ecstattic Studio
Artwork/layout by Benjamin Schurr
“Another You” and “Light” were recorded live with minimal overdubs.
“Someday” was recorded at the same time with different magic.
“Prayer” was recorded live in the studio ~6 months prior.
(Nearly every night of my adolescence I had the same dream of getting out of bed, walking through the door and out into the narrow hallway that separated my room from the rest of the house… the hallway, however, would not end, instead yawning into an endless void that would either deposit me back at my door or the edge of my bed, where I would stand over my own sleeping form or - most horrifyingly - nowhere at all, my bedroom door replaced by more endless fields of nothing…)
There’s another you inside your broken head.
There’s another you sleeping in your bed.
There’s another you inside your dirty bed.
There’s another you waiting to be bled out…
I know you don’t want to talk about it, but you know it still goes on with you… it wanders the halls and scratches your name into cellar walls…
(don’t fuck with me or I’ll drink your blood)
Track Name: Someday
I feel you through waves of gray.
I’ll see you in some new way.
You’re so sour, but it’s okay, I know you’ll need
someone like me someday.
If I seem lost on my way, I’m thinking back to that day.
I was tired of the charade, but I knew that you would
fall to me someday.
By the window, by the sea, by the window where you spoke to me…
you’ll never speak to me that way again.
Track Name: Prayer
I could say a prayer for you, but you know it wouldn’t be true.
I gave up on that old man back when I could barely stand to see the sun.
I could sleep for a thousand years if I thought that the world would change,
but I don’t have the faith in anyone or anything that you do.
Sleep and dream of me as I will never be.
Track Name: Light (Ascension)
(I figured there was no way out but to follow the vaporous breadcrumb trail left by these nightly excursions… I began to document them, building a pathway out of this existence, a shaky bridge into another world that might turn out to be more horrible and dissolute than the one I had come from - a terrible wasted place under the thrall of a cruel god, sure, but at least you couldn’t see its face or lose yourself completely - but I was willing to take the risk then as I am now to find something greater in all of this...)
Finding shards of light in an endless night.
Trading in your fears while trying to become light.
You were just a tool; a ladder up to god.
You were such a fool that you believed every word.
(CHAINS ARE LIFTED FROM AROUND YOUR SLEEPING HEAD AND YOUR SPIRIT RISES ABOVE YOUR BED. KEEP ON MOVING PAST THE CEILING AND THE STARS...)
...until you’ve wandered too far from your body.
(YOU’RE JUST A TOOL! YOU’RE JUST A LADDER UP TO HIM! BUT YOU’RE NOT A FOOL! YOUR HEART IS SACRED AND YOUR LOVE IS PURE!)