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Hollister Fracus Scar

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 @ 12:56 AM


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At last we have a CD review from a kick ass metal band from Houston, Texas: Hollister Fracus. Formed in late 1997, the band enjoyed limited success in its initial incarnation, releasing 3 albums. The first, Hollister Fracus, was self-released. Their second CD, Has It Come To This, was released through Albatross Records, a rap label and, as you might expect, they had no clue how to market and promote the band. The third CD, Assinine, was released through Twin Buddha Records and enjoyed the most success to date but again, the label did little to push the CD and give it promotion.

The band developed a nice following in the Houston area over this time, but in 2002 original vocalist Jason Morgan left the band to pursue other interests which could have resulted in the band's death knell. But not so fast. The band found an ample replacement in Jim Finley, who brought his own unique style of singing and it was quite apparent that his addition would take the band in a whole new musical direction. By combining elements of bands such as Godsmack, Disturbed, Stone Temple Pilots and Anthrax, the band forged their own distinct sound which is evident on this current release and one that both old school metalheads such as myself and the newer, younger generation of metal fans can appreciate.

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Scar originally was not going to be an official release. The 5 tracks on this EP were written by the current lineup and produced in demo form to hopefully generate label interest in the band. They even printed several hundred copies of the track “Systematic” in CD single to give out to anyone and everyone. A copy of this track managed to land in the hands of a DJ on the local Houston Buzz station and she decided to showcase the band on her Sunday evening Texas Buzz show. The track quickly became one of the top ten most requested songs and opened other doors for the band, including a side stage appearance on the Vans Warped Tour when it rolled through Houston. The band was also nominated for the Houston Press music awards. The band rethought their strategy a bit and headed back to the studio to redo the tracks and produce the EP themselves.

Now when reviewing a CD, we don't normally mention each track, but since this has only 5 tracks I will go through each briefly.

FAILURE - A great tune to open the CD. A nice grinding metal tune with lots of anger. The lyrics say 'Angry's how I feel' and they ain't kidding. Nice guitar work on this one. I found myself banging head to this one.

SYSTEMATIC - This was the first single from the EP and was the first tune I heard from this lineup of Hollister when I snagged one of those many CD singles they gave out. The remixed version sounds a little different than the one I heard but the changes were a great improvement. Very uptempo tune.

GODSPEED - My favorite track if I have to choose one. A little bit of Godsmack sound on this and I love the guitar effect intro on the song. That leads right into a heavy sounding beat that makes the listener want to bounce up and down to the rhythm. I get this visual of a mass of people on the floor of a concert all jumping in unison to this. Catchy guitar riffs as well.

CURSE - A nice deceptively mellow tune that switches between acoustic and electric between the verses and chorus. I believe this is probably the closest Hollister will get to a power ballad. Another favorite of mine with great vocals.

SCAR - The title track that has an Anthrax feel to it. Hell, even Jim's vocals on this one sound a little like John Bush. Very cool ending on this tune that suddenly switches to an angry thrash mode that makes you wanna mosh into anyone within close proximity.

Scar is a great hard rock CD. All of the tracks contain signature guitar riffs and catchy vocal hooks with just enough anger and aggression to grab you by the privates and not let go. Every song on here has the potential to become a single. The band itself has great potential and with the release of the EP hopefully 2004 will be a banner year for them. Check it out for yourself at www.hollisterfracus.com where you can listen to clips of all 5 tracks. The EP can be purchased at certain record stores in the greater Houston area, CD Baby's website and Amazon.com, to name a few. Hollister Fracus' Scar proves once and for all that Houston's metal scene is alive and well.

* * * * ½

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