Jamison Acker and Michael Lux have a mutual taste for vintage rock. Sample the third full-length record from Chicago’s Hollus, 2009’s Joker and the Queen, and enjoy their sweet goulash of garage blues, hippie folk, and psychedelic rock, brewed with nostalgic spoonfuls of the Who, the Small Faces, early Stones, and the Stooges.
“It is a very classic rock & roll-type record,” says Lux, who writes and plays guitar in the four-piece. “We had come off a nine-month hiatus that started when we began throwing power tools and large, surly words at each other. Jamison went to Atlanta; I went to Nashville for a bit. When we met back up, we had no bass player or drummer, no hatred for each other, and a sudden mutual love for ‘50s and ‘60s country music and rock & roll.”
The duo decided to indulge their maturing musical taste with the aforementioned 10-song set of retro-styled rock — from the British blues bayou of “Horseman” to the Americana roots of “Krista Lynn.” Enlisting the help of Mario Coletta on drums and Colin Mulhern on bass, Acker and Lux have been perfecting their classic rock formula on the road ever since, hitting Akron’s Backstage Concert Club tonight..
Onstage, the quartet is at home blasting Zeppelin-inspired guitar anthems and shimmery Byrd’s-style classic pop. Just listen to their new split single: “Lucy Grey/Songs that You Love.” “A tune like ‘Songs That You Love’ is super jangly and has this airy summer feel that has carried across to people who admittedly thought we were shit last year,” says Acker, whose lead vocals hit the high range between Robert Plant and Neil Young. “It does come from a very folk rock 1965 place, and we wrote it in 20 minutes flat, just like that, and never changed a thing.”
Hollus is poised to channel more vintage grooves later this year, accompanied by a few music videos, like the just-released video for “Songs That You Love”. The fellas hope to finish their fourth full-length this summer, with plans to release it in two parts (part one should be out this fall). “We’re going to start the tour machine running again in September and go bonkers from there,” says Acker. “We hope to stop in Akron every three months or so and make it a staple of our American ramblings.”
“Our drummer Mario is very excited about the whole thing,” says Lux. “I’ve never seen someone so excited about Ohio. He may end up there married with children. If we’ve lost him, we know where to find him — probably living in a shanty behind Scene headquarters.” — Keith Gribbins
Hollus, with Kosmo King and Oxnard, 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 7. Backstage Concert Club (370 Paul Williams St., Akron, OH 44311). Tickets are $5.