- by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2016-03-12 Label: Reverberation Appreciation Society
This third instalment since 2013’s Relax album provided to us by El Paso quintet, Holy Wave. Those amongst us of a psychedelia and shoegaze persuasion will bask in this ten-song treat. The stoner mason multi-instrumentalists featuring on the recording are: Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook, and Ryan Fuson. If you would like to get a feel of who this band bears similarity to, then consider some of the following names: Real Estate, The Stone Roses, Shack, Temples, and The Byrds.
The golden dawning mists on Freaks of Nurture rise with ‘She’s Put a Seed in My Ear' which is swamped with an illuminating murkiness, which has a Fleet Foxes type slacker element providing a jangly surf riff that swings along with bass/drums, and in the chorus with reverb saturated guitars and organ alongside a three-part unison harmony assault. The hazy amber vibe continues on ‘Wendy Go Round’ with the layered guitars, organs and bobbing bass, It is a simple mid-tempo paced song, along with a fuzzy guitar moment. It then slides into the dreamscape ‘Western Playland’ which has a lulling trudge of non-urgency, then proceeds to warmly buzz, drone away and slowly fade…then a wakeup call whoosh as ‘You Should Lie’ bursts into full My Bloody Valentine-esque speedy surf guitars jam.
Even though the whole recording has a lacquered lethargy, and a mulling melancholia. It is When it attempts to get too exciting, that the album slows back down into the perpetual sunny daydream again on ‘California Took My Bobby Away’ holding no rush, there is a bit of Spaceman 3, The Dandy Warhols vibe appears with a Beach Boys feel to the harmonies on this track.Ttrailing behind is ‘Airwolf’ with jangly reverb intro reminiscent of the Merseybeat sound, it has a somewhat robotic vocal repetition on the chorus, then eventually speeds up to close.
After some squeaky feedback it leads into a fast swinging Beach Boys-esque ‘Our Pigs’ which may let the album down, as it fairly tends to drag on for way too long, then suddenly stops. A return to the amber ever glowing on ‘Sir Isaac Nukem’ possessing nice organs draped across the addictive guitar jangle-sphere here with steady drums and the melody just coats the instrumentation well – Imagine The Shadows, if they happened to have gone down the psychedelic path. There is a familiar sound to ‘Magic Landing’, as though New Order tried out spaghetti western for fun. The melancholic sunset fade out with ‘Minstrel’s Gallop’ is exactly what Freaks Of Nature needs and to be honest, it has an air of suspense using a harpsichord motif, which suddenly stops leaving a strange wavering tape noise phaser effect.
Holy Wave have manipulated varied textures within Freaks Of Nurture, whilst in doing so, the band have created a saffron saturated wall of sound, which should enliven an already vibrant revival of a much loved musical era.