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Review: Hollywood Undead- V

What separates good bands from great ones is the ability to not just continually create good music, but to do it while evolving their sound in doing so. Hollywood Undead are one of the bands who have been able to do this in the midst of lineup changes and still manage to keep things fresh from album to album.

Their latest and fifth record- V– is the perfect example of this. The HU have always been known for their fun, party anthems and their skill in creating heavy rock tracks and V has both of these. The record opens with “California Dreaming, which was the lead single and the heaviest song on the album, sucking you in from the start and then leads into “Whatever It Takes,” which is a hypnotic rhythm-driven hip hop track that’s equally addicting.

Then there are songs like “Bad Moon,” “Broken Record” and “Ghost Beach,” that go in a softer, pop-fueled direction- similar to “Believe” from 2013’s Notes From The Underground and feature Danny in a much more prominent role and showcase how underrated he is as a vocalist. “Nobody’s Watching” is exactly what this is all about. It’s one of the standout tracks and nothing like we’ve heard from HU before and one of the most beautiful songs they’ve ever written and shows their maturity as songwriters and musicians in a way we’ve never seen before.

“Renegade” starts a new chapter in the album, switching it up yet again and going in the hip hop direction that’s made them so popular for over a decade now.

“Black Cadillac” keeps the party going and is one of the top tracks on the record- right up there with “Nobody’s Watching.” Featuring B-Real of Cypress Hill and Prophets Of Rage, it’s weed-smoking anthem that will make you headband and chill out with a giant bowl or a blunt- in the same session.

“Pray (Put Em In the Dirt)” is a pulsating, adrenalizing ride that makes you listen on repeat and it’s probably the top track on the entire album, followed by “Cashed Out” and “Riot,” which is a party track similar to “War Child” before “We Own The Night” and “Bang Bang,” the latter of which  has a Rammstein-style intro beat to it. “Your Life” closes out the album in a strong way, rounding out one hell of a ride.

In the end, Hollywood Undead have created their most mature and diverse offering yet. Five albums in and HU know exactly how to stay relevant, keep the momentum going and prove why their one of the top-selling bands with each album. There’s not a dull moment on V and the journey is still just getting started.

Rating: 9/10

-Reggie Edwards