I have to be honest, I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to this here blog. I guess that’s what unemployment can do to you – I’ve got so much time on my hands yet I can’t be bothered to do anything apart from dick about on message boards all day. I think it also doesn’t help that I’ve not heard any decent new bands recently. However, that changed a couple of weeks ago when Holy State’s debut ep turned up in my post. Frankly, this record is awesome. They’re easily the best new band I’ve heard in a good while.
Holy State take over from where Bullet Union left of, in being the best band in the country that sound like Hot Snakes, which is good enough for me. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, or you need a little more persuasion, picture the scene: you’re standing in a tiny, airless room, surrounded by four guys playing some angry punk rock. Their amps look pretty old and they’re turned up too far; with every guitar strum you can hear the speaker crackling and breaking up. Over the sound of a snare drum being struck within an inch of its life, you notice one of these guys is yelling about something. As you lean closer, his voice barley audible above the noise, you can just make out the words. And then you realise he’s singing about solid state amps. It’s those amps that give them that buzz saw guitar sound, much like Shellac in fact. It makes a nice change from the de rigueur Hot Rod Deluxe that most British bands get stuck with. That’s the sound of Holy State. They seem like they’re all about the tone. Most bands don’t get to that stage until the difficult second album, but these guys are there already and this is only their demo.
Yesterday saw the release of their Demo on Holy Roar Records. It’s probably fair to say that these guys are big fans of John Reiss, as almost all of the songs recall both the aforementioned Hot Snakes and Reiss’s other band Drive Like Jehu. Maybe when they get some more money they’ll expand their line up and include a horn section to make them sound like Rocket From The Crypt. The last song, ‘Skeleton Coast’ (which you can download here), is probably the stand out track of the lot, being that it has three distinctly great parts. It starts off with some nice chunky post-hardcore gone punk riffs, much like Fugazi; then goes into a half time break with a call of “I’m so sick;” before rounding everything off with an instrumental section that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Drive Like Jehu record. It’s kind of tough to talk about a band when they wear their influences so obviously on their sleeves, but Holy State just sound like they’re taking inspiration from, rather than directly ripping off, which is the best way to go about things. Honestly, if you like Hot Snakes/Drive Like Jehu/Fugazi etc. then you will like this band. I would put money on it, but since I’m jobless you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Holy State’s myspace is here. The record is out now to buy or download from Holy Roar. The one sheet they sent with the cd states “Errrr…Holy State are awesome unless you are an idiot?” So I guess that settles it.
You’re an idiot.