Hollowmen proves that there was definately Midwestern sound in the 80s - a guitar driven, heavy rocking yet melodic sound. Although their Husker Du infuences are obvious, they should be considered among the trademark bands not only for Iowa, but for the whole Widwest. Tremendously strong, extraordinary guitar playing, solid rhythm section and superb vocals - what more could anyone ask for? Although they've been together and worked hard for 5 years, they released only 2 albums and then joined the X-files with the great bands that remained unknown without explanation.
Formed in 1984 in Des Moines from the remains of The Chant. Played many shows in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Falls. Considered by many to be the band from Iowa that was going to become a breakout success. Their sound was infectious - with a unique combination of tremulous appregiations, heavy rhythmic structures and haunting vocals. Despite the heavy guitars, they had a distinct pop sensibility and could be compared to other Midwestern bands of that era such as Husker Du or The Replacements. According to Tom Armstrong's web site, the band broke up in 1989 over a dispute about van payments. (from The Secret History of the Cedar Valley)
from album's liner notes These songs were recorded in a series of sessions from January to May, 1987 and represent the last recordings we made with Eric playing bass. Around March, he decided to leave the band and we went in to Kerry Moor's basement 8-track studio to record as much of our backlog of material as possible. We ended up with a total of 26 songs, and put these twelve together in an attempt to make a coherent record out of the mess. Some of the out-takes are pretty good, maybe some day they will see the light of day. Anyway, Eric left the band in June and Jim Roth, who helped produce and played some guitar on this LP took over the bass and has been with us ever since.
Track Listing Side 1 Sit/Hangover/Subliminal/Never Wanna Hear it Again/Swallow You Whole/Spite Side 2 Master Puppet/Me Too/Cool/The Hatchet and the Torch/No One to Talk To/Sleeping in the Sky
Mike Sangster – Guitar, vocals Tom Armstrong – Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar Joe Page – Drums, Percussion Eric Svenson – Bass (1984-1987) Jim Roth - Bass (1988-1989)
Tom Armstrong is living in San Francisco has an active solo project and is still playing out and releasing records. Mike Sangster went on to Headcandy and has recorded some solo stuff. Joe Page have been with the Catalinas, Voodoo Gearshift, Delstars and is currently playing with Brad Roth in the band Death Valley Murmurs. Eric Svenson was with the Delstars. Jim Roth tours with Built To Spill. (from Iowa Underground Archives Network)
You can also buy their first and equally great LP from Pravda records who bravely decided to keep its back catalog available.