Electric Soft Parade - Holes In The Wall

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2004-05-31

Brighton brothers Alex and Tom White may still be fresh-faced teenagers, but Holes In The Wall, their commendable debut album, could have been recorded at any time in the last 20 years. It bristles with the mysterious melodic chemistry that made Boo Radleys' Giant Steps and Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque such endearingly retrodelic prospects: a wide-eyed expansiveness, a sonic playfulness, and tunes ("Start Again", "There's A Silence", "Why Do You Try So Hard To Hate Me") with hooks so immediate they swagger into your head, grab the comfy chairs and start writing out party invites before they've even reached the second chorus. While on the surface this is traditional guitar fare, beneath the veneer this bares all the subtly applied hallmarks of a rock masterwork--the work of the White brothers themselves, who undertook much of the recording in their bedroom with an iMac, a bank of vintage synths, and all manner of digital mixing programs. The next album, doubtless, will be even better. But right now, as "Silent To The Dark"--think Graham Coxon in full pop Technicolour--phases back in after five minutes of majestic electronic psychedelia, Alex White cooing "When I needed someone to talk to / You were the only one around" it's clear you'd have to have a heart of stone to not be immediately sold. --Louis Pattison

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