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We review the new single from James Hooker and The Hallows – Don’t Slow Me Down

Following their 2017 self-titled debut – Australian indie-rock band James Hooker & The Hallows return with new music in track ‘Don’t Slow Me Down’. The lead single from their upcoming second studio album, it’s a tenacious tale of perseverance packaged in a punchy 2:43 runtime.

Recorded at ‘Head Gap’ recording studio in Melbourne – the number blends indie rock, alternative country and classic rock n roll genres. Opening with the bright biting strum of a guitar and first line “Don’t slow me down baby / I’m a midnight bullet train” – the tone is set as this track thunders along from start to finish, never once veering off the rails (except for a great soaring guitar solo around the 1.30 mark).

With a beat-heavy toe-tapping pace – the song is described by the band as being about “not allowing yourself to be held back by anyone or anything, being true to yourself”. The lyrics express this through a mix of melancholic and inspiring metaphors illustrating a dogged determination to keep on going despite the odds.

James Hooker’s vocals retain a certain melodic grit giving off an almost grungy Neil Young vibe. Indeed, influences from artists like Young and Tom Petty are clear – with Hooker himself admitting the song came to be after watching Petty’s ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’ documentary film.

Much like these musicians, the band take stories of loss and hope and score them with a warm, easy-listening and catchy soundtrack.

Priding “honesty over perfection”, James Hooker & The Hallows give us something familiar, yet still incredibly infectious. Wind the windows down and crank the sound up. Your next road trip needs to tune.