Here we have the third album proper (following some singles and b-sides compilations) from Holy Wave, a Texan gang much enamoured with surf and psych music. On Freaks Of Nature they like to lean back and let the songs drift forwards, the guitar haze and the vocal harmonies merging into a warm drone. Released by Reveal.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 16 March 2016
The first track I heard from these US based dream-gazers ‘California Took My Bobby Away’ appears at the end of Side One and is some kind of marvellously lazy sounding piece of dream gaze that sits between Deerhunter’s drowning dreamscapes and those sad downwards melodic figures in 10CC’s ‘I’m Not in Love’. Delightful. Elsewhere the album seems to be an exercise in how murky you can make indie pop and how much reverb you can slather on things without the police being called.
I’ve seen this record compared to DIIV’s latest ‘Is The Is Are ‘ and there are certainly similarities in sound particularly the chiming guitars and ghostly vocals but even at twice the length it needs to be, ‘Is The Is Are ‘ is massively superior in every possible way. Just having a great rhythm section makes a difference you can spot with half an ear. That's not to say that this record is without merits, ‘Western Playground’ is a treat for anyone who wanted Galaxie 500 to rev themselves up a bit and showcases a nice line in a lyric being sung repetitively whilst chords change underneath. In fact they enjoy it so much they repeat the trick on ‘Airwolf’ which sits somewhere in the spangling midpoint between Spacemen 3 and the Rain Parade. They mainly sound like they are very tired but when they come to life on the speedy ‘You Should Lie’ they sound turbocharged.
Completely happy to use an organ, Holy Wave have a dreamy, drifty, surfy sound. Sometimes I find them a bit indistinct but generally this is heading in the right direction.
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