The Bright and Hollow Sky

Record review

Texas Platters

The Bright and Hollow Sky

Gem State (Pop Faction)

With their moniker ripped from an Iggy Pop song, Austin's Bright and Hollow Sky takes listeners for a ride that's more iggy than pop. Gem State, the group's debut full-length, finds former Silver Scooter members going long and, sometimes, wrong. Gem State's missteps might be more understandable if the group weren't comprised of local veterans who know better. Tunes such as "Oleander" and "Going Down" do more to pay homage to no-name mope groups of the Clinton administration than break any new ground. Meanwhile, luminous moments like the epic "Take the City" and "Around the Block" do what they can to change the LP's chilly climate. There's a detectable spirit in the songwriting, suggesting sincerity and room to grow, yet reaching the album's homestretch is exhausting. At 16 tracks, there's just too much mediocrity to swallow, and the power-pop hooks aren't enough to help it go down.

**

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