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Holy White Hounds
Release Date: September 18, 2015
It’s been awhile since I have had a good dose of jangly rock and roll. While the rest of the rock and roll revivalists take their cues from seventies stoner and garage rock, Holy White Hounds aren’t afraid to show their nineties alt-rock cards, incorporating cues that remind me of bands like Nada Surf, Local H, An Horse, and early Beck.
“Oh Mama” seems to be the calling card here. It’s a quirky little number that lands somewhere between REM and Cake with an almost-but-not-quite whiny vocal that holds the loose instrumentation all together. It’s an odd little ditty that packs a musical punch despite its ballad-ish feel.
Meanwhile, songs like “In Your Skin” and “Switchblade” bring the Hounds quirky rock and roll tendencies to the forefront. They are more aggressive overall as far as the guitars go, but they are really, really dynamic tunes that take you through a variety of emotions.
"Black Lust” is my personal favorite. It plays like a nineties alt-rock anthem and causes me to fondly remember when music in the mainstream had some personality. The guitars are loose but the rhythm section marches everything forward, leaving the listener able to fully focus on the lyrics/melody.
Overall, this is a strong album for an indie. With the advent of the internet, independent music has become pretty impossible to navigate. Thankfully, I have this job and the natural filter that comes with it, because otherwise I may have missed out on Sparkle, Sparkle. If you like good, solid alt-rock that takes chances and doesn’t waste time with the trappings of mainstream radio (not a single “oh” or “la la” on the record!) then check out Holy White Hounds.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher