Holy State - Holy State EP

by Clare Stemp Rating:2 Release Date:2010-07-12

In wade Holy State with a commanding trumpet and vigorous drumming on opening track 'Brain Caves'. Powerful stuff. Maybe these rockers won't just be another boring set of scuzzy guitar chords lead by a barking, monotone frontman. Leeds-based record label Dance to the Radio have promised this, the band's first "proper" self-titled EP to be "the sound of a band truly honing in on something special and individual". Ah, reassuring. But then all hope is crushed as the singer wails his way through an incoming surge of generic rock-dirge. Take a pinch of Fugazi or The Jesus Lizard without any variety in song pattern; a tablespoon of uninspiring frontman; throw in taking the creation of grunge far too seriously - and there before you sag Holy State.

'Brain Caves' is the best of a wholly uninteresting set of songs, if only for that brass opening. The chorus of 'Palms' contains a momentarily rousing combination of echoic shouting and more brass. But these small segments aside, the tracks blend into one long, tedious rock-slog over a series of listens. The relentlessly atonal vocals fail to reflect the (questionable) melodies upholding them, as if the two elements were recorded with no prior knowledge of the other's existence. There's no fun here, no real spark, no spirit of punk. Just a craggy, discordant, 'post-punk' mess. These methods have been done to death, and are as individual as a baked bean, yet nowhere near as tasty.

Clare Stemp

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