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Holloway Holiday - EP Review: Psycho-Sensitive

01 Jun 2018 // A review by butch181

As is categorical of a punk album, the Psycho-Sensitive EP by Holloway Holiday is made up of shorter tracks, with 6 songs racking up less than 20 minutes total runtime. Being more of a pop-punk hybrid, the tracks certainly aren't as short as many 40 second punk songs that I have heard, but definitely shorter than the average 4-5-minute rock track. 

The opening title track, Psycho-Sensitive, definitely has an electronic pop-punk sound to it and starts off with almost an early Living End/Green Day style, but it feels like the voice isn’t being properly projected; speaking rather than singing, which makes the choral harmonies feel weak, (almost like someone is complaining in the background, rather than actively harmonizing). 

The Freak Show has well defined Panic At The Disco vocal influence, but again the vocals are a bit wobbly. Almost searching for the note rather than hitting the note square. The electronic element of musician Louis Valentine Tobin's style is rather intriguing. The digital side purposefully lacks bass, which does remove a lot of substance and volume from the tracks, but it does lend itself to a livelier, bubblegum pop sound. Probably the highlight of the album to be honest. Good pace and energy to it.

I'm unsure of what direction Tobin was taking Vampire (The Sound of a Happy Ending), but the choice of key feels poorly chosen. Spending so much time at the high ends of his vocal range makes the song sound stressed and forced. I'd be interested to hear this track either performed in a slightly lower key or projecting the voice more.

The EP ends with a cover of Tears For Fears 1983 hit Mad World, and has a good mix of keys and guitar, some beautiful harmonies in the first half, and hauntingly discordant harmonies in the latter half.  

As a reviewer that primarily reviews Rock music, I seek out artists with powerful vocals, that provide an emotive experience. A strongly projected voice portrays confidence and authenticity when it comes to the content of the lyrics. Tobin has the basic structures down and has good instrumental layers, but the overall style lacks that power and oomph. For an artist that was founded this year, there is a lot of potential in the record. Getting that mix just right, so the vocals are a focal point, but not disconnected from the instrumentation is vital, and working with some slightly less distorted electronic tones would do wonders for their sound.


Review written by Alex Moulton

 

About Holloway Holiday

The New Zealand Nu-Punk rockers of your dreams, Holloway Holiday is a sugary face-punch flaunting Taylor Criscuola on drums and Louis Valentine on vocals and guitar. Every song is a synth-infused emotional rollercoaster of four-chord political satire and sad-boy sentimentality. They’re angry, They’re fun, and they’re totally not okay (they promise).




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