Posts Tagged ‘Relax’

“What stands out about Holy Wave is the sonic textures they apply to make their sound pierce through the smoke-filled haze that engulfs most psych bands.

El Paso, Texas five-piece Holy Wave makes no bones about its love affair with reverb. The group’s second full-length, Relax, is awash in bouncy, hazy songs played at various paces with foggy vocals bleeding in, out and over cheeky melodies. It’s a garage-rock lover’s garage-rock album, unabashedly embracing of Zombies-like slacker psalms and clunky guitar manipulations.

Droning surf progressions and organ come together in “Night Tripper,” the album’s first inkling of any real dynamic outside of their loyalty toward seminal psychedelic forefathers. Relax as a title for this collection is almost too-fitting, with heavy-lidded tunes like “Sol Love” expounding such rudimentary lyrical fodder as “Look at the sun/look at the people” before all sense of cadence or phrasing is lost in a garbled wave of groovy UV white noise.

The album’s first single, “Star Stamp,” singes in an Iron Butterfly bass-and-organ style progression, and guitars are finally freed up for some sorely needed snaky leads. A Ronettes-like fade-in to the enchanting “Shamania” marks a smart, sharp turn for the LP, and it drives home the notion that above all, Holy Wave is a band at total war with contemporary ideas of audio fidelity. That these allegiances are steeped in such stupefying repetition and in such drowse-inducing lengths is regrettable for wide swaths of Relax until some writhing guitar squall comes out of nowhere to bring you back in.
00:00 – Do You Feel It
3:34 – Psychological Thriller
6:13 – Night Tripper
11:15 – Sol Love
13:45 – Star Stamp
17:18 – Son of Sound
21:59 – Shamania
26:52 – Change your Head/Ecstatic Moment
31:55 – Surfin Mta
35:54 – Mouth Mountain
40:13 – Wet & Wild

Austin’s own Holy Wave made strides in 2014. They released a new album, “Relax”, via The Reverberation Appreciation Society with a cassette co-release via Burger Records, which premiered on Paste Magazine and was highlighted on Pitchfork’s . Holy Wave expanded to a five-piece for the album, recording with producer Erik Wofford (Explosions in the Sky, My Morning Jacket, The Black Angels) at Cacophony Studios. This was followed by the band’s European debut, where their surf sounds, droning riffs and Nuggets-esque hooks were greeted with affection. Holy Wave also just made their TV debut on Last Call with Carson Daly in February of 2015.