Friday, November 11, 2016

Albums of the Year 2016 # 45 Holy Wave

From a Song(s) of the Day post from earlier this year:

'A lot of bands sound pretty much the same nowadays. Take American, broadly melodic, alternative bands for example. Particularly male ones. They can probably be divided into roughly five categories. The ones that sound like Beach Fossils, The ones who take their cue from Allah Las. Those who prefer the Black Angels. Brian Jonestown Massacre disciples and those associated with the west Coast garage sound orbiting around Ty Segall. Not sure if I've missed anyone out, (Pavement perhaps), or if there are swathes of bands who are way away from any of these descriptions I've given.

Holy Wave hail from Austin Texas, like the Black Angels but are gentler than them and sound like an approxiamtion of two or three of the bands mentioned above. They evoke a breathy, dreamy, soothing psychedelia and there's definitely a healthy dollop of Shoegazing in the mix, alongside the usual sixties reference points. In interviews they've cited The White Album, Pet Sounds and Loveless as favourite records which give you a fair idea of where they're coming from.

Their new album Freaks of Nature is a joy. You can get the idea of what to expect within twenty seconds of their first song commencing, their's is a formula of spiraling guitars, incoherent, though interesting sounding lyrics, a holy wave is not a bad description, and they keep things rolling. Every now and then things speed up and a rush of distortion and volume kick in, their My Bloody Valentine moments but these moments are brief for the most part they stay on the straight and narrow. Sure it sounds an awful lot like an awful lot of things around it but Holy Wave get it right almost all the time and Freaks of Nature is yet another album to add to a lengthening list of very good records released thus far this year.'

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