A horrible hack

Holy State


Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Holy Roar
Reviewed by Joe Callaghan on Feb 19, 2009
I somehow feel a little bit used; almost degraded by some slapdash salesman. I sit here with a heap of advertising and a biro-marked CDR. I feel like I've stepped into a used car dealer, and I'm about to be hounded about my out-of-date technology, pummelling me into submission until I acquiesce to the brand new hatch with the Sat-Nav that can prepare my chuffing breakfast! I guess the next paragraph could have ended up being 100% different if there was even a touch of effort put into the presentation of the release (They didn't even get a real CDR pen) and/or they didn't pad the whole thing out with adverts and a quite embarrassingly self indulgent press release like an issue of Cosmo. I guess I was immediately put off by the "Tipped as ones to watch in 2009 by Drowned in Pounds" or whatever, and then began to wonder who it was that wrote their hideous "blurb" and how close of a connection they have with the band? It starts off like a review, but I can't help but speculate just who has been given the right to affix the "Classic" tag to a group of new jacks' debut record? It reeks of mindless bigging-up and back-scratching and it really does disappointingly debase the grounds of the actual record. The comment "Classic punk music that doesn't rely upon distortion or screaming to get a more than vital point across" put me in a tough situation. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I stood back and took a long hard look at my record collection and wondered what I was doing, wasting precious time on all this buzz-saw screaming nonsense, which resulted in an impractical and perilous indoor bonfire, consisting of a cocktail of everything flammable at my domestic disposable, and every record I've ever owned. I only have this dear press-pack to thank for changing my life before I set my sights on a road of lifelong despair, regret and ignominy. Cheers.

Before I'd received this package of pseudo-commercial self-important bilge, I wanted to like it. I really did. It ticks most of the boxes it needs to for it to be full on Hot Snakes/Jehu worship. The guitars that go TWRRAAANNNGGG. The bass that goes BUFFBUFFBUFFBABUFF and they've got that pre-puberty nasal whine nailed down quite well, a lot like Froberg himself. So what's the problem? Well, it sounds like the bands they want to it to sound like. It's organised, it's well practiced and it's very rigid but it just doesn't do anything else. It never strays outside of that Snakes/Jehu school of thought. It sounds like Jehu, playing the more straight forward approach of Snakes. Sometimes it sounds like Snakes, playing the jerky twangy Jehu esque rock. Sometimes it just sounds like Snakes. It plods along competently with little for the imagination to be perplexed by and little you haven't heard before. And that's the music talking. That's before I found out that Screaming and Distortion is ruining my puny life.

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