HOLIDAYS

Covered in Diamonds and Jewels – Self-Titled (Fabrica Records, 2010)

Posted in Covered in Diamonds and Jewels, Fabrica Records by HOLIDAYS on September 30, 2010

Being a big fan of the last Fabrica release from Luciernaga, I’m very please to be reviewing the most recent release, Covered in Diamonds and Jewels. Consisting of a total of 12 tracks on a C47 (with 6 on each side), the B-side is actually composed of the same 6 tracks from the A-side, but played in reverse. While conceptually played out, it works, as I’ll get to soon.

Just as the Luciernaga tape, I’d like to describe it as ambient music, but with this one in particular, there’s certainly a lot more going on that spans it throughout various genres. Each track is very much alike in instrumentation- blown out bass lines topped with some clean, more soothing guitar work  as well as some other hints of noise and captured dialog thrown into the mix. While overall it’s not exactly warm and relaxing, it certainly carries a nice sobering warmth. As I said for the B-side, it’s a well played out concept that I usually skip over, but in regards to this specific recording, it works. While I find most reverse recordings a bit stressful to listen to, at a nice low volume, I get that same feeling as the first side, from a different and lovely perspective.

The artwork is pretty peculiar- ostriches, money, plants(?)- none of it really means anything to me, but it’s good for a an interesting glance. The tape includes an insert with all the track listings, even going into the reverse side where all the tracks are listed in backwards type, which is a nice touch. While I don’t feel any more elegant after listening to this tape, it’s definitely an enjoyable one. I’m never quite sure who to recommend tapes like these to though- it’s not really noise, it’s not too ambient, etc. Either way, it’s excellent. I’m glad to see Fabrica with new output, and I’ll certainly be looking forward to future entries to their catalog.

Label page: http://fabricarecords.wordpress.com/

Somnaphon – Normal People (Ack Recordings, 2009)

Posted in Ack Recordings, Somnaphon by HOLIDAYS on September 26, 2010

Talk about something different- Normal People described as “normal music for normal people” is far from that- and definitely far from anything I’ve heard before. It’s actually probably one of the strangest things I’ve heard in a long time. Composed of 5 tracks, this 3″ CDr is like taking a rock/country/acoustic porch tunes and running them a digital bath to soak in. It’s confusing as all hell, but sheds a bit of brilliance at the same time.

The first track sets a standard of digital weirdness as some acoustic guitar work is completely drenched into a digital, bit-crushed mess. The second track stands out amongst them all in my ears with what sounds like a more traditional “band” set up that is once again completely destroyed by this digital sound, but still lends its self a huge, heavy jam. The third track presents clean acoustic with some odd, buried-within-themselves vocals that are a bit hard to find comfort in as a crunchy, fucked up rhythm enters in the rear, all ending slowly.

“blackbath”, the fourth track is of a darker- dark ambient throughout with some oscillating echos going in-and-out as more dark tones easy through making their presence known. Heavy-footed steps echo in just as the track concludes, leaving the last track, possibly being the strangest of the five. Starting off as a complete digital, atonal mess, some charming acoustic guitar work breaks through with some warm and wondrous vocal work like a group of hippies around a fire in the middle of nowhere finally leaving their digital lives behind.

On my own, I probably would have never looked into this release- it’s just not something I seek out on a usual basis, but I’m happy I’ve heard it. I tuned into it on a late night drive home on the interstate, and was pleasantly surprised at how it made me feel. Overall, it was a nice release with a big variety in sound, all drivin’ by what I described before as a “digital bath”. While strange, it’s extremely fascinating for a curious mind.

Artist page: http://myspace.com/somnaphon

Label page: http://ackrecordings.net

Where Is This / Werewolf Jerusalem (Bored Bear Recordings, 2010)

Posted in Bored Bear Recordings, Werewolf Jerusalem, Where Is This by HOLIDAYS on September 23, 2010

I’m not fragile by any means, but my first impression reminds me that I’ve recently overlapped by metabolism to the point that I should start harnessing my weight gain with protein supplements and work-out regiments- cause this guy looks tough! No clue who he is, but he has his shirt off and he’s on an RR-related release, so we can all draw our own conclusions.

The first side comes from Where Is This, to whom I’ve self-pronounced myself as a fan after reviewing Infinite Uh– which I adored. The sounds I hear on the first side of this tape though are a bit less satisfying, as it’s apparent immediately that we’re not going for any type of HNW style as before- more so a tamer sound. It’s not bad!- don’t get me wrong- just not what I expected. The side starts off sporadic and crumbling with mid-range distortion sounding like that of binary communication or faulty phone line that dance in and out with each other through a lengthy duration- wonderful low rumbles take place towards the end creating somewhat of a small wall of noise that I was hoping to hear, ending in a decent fashion. Interesting to listen to, but once again, not my favorite offering.

I’m familiar with WJ, and by no means is it my favorite project from RR. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect- static noise. Though, I can’t project myself as being completely ignorant without pointing out that upon really paying attention, the track is extremely interesting with much more going on than what you may think, but if you don’t have your ear glued to your stereo, it goes by as just another piece of static noise.
Unless you’re a WJ enthusiest, this release may be passable. When it comes to Where Is This, do yourself the favor and grab Infinite Uh first.

Artist pages: http://virb.com/whereisthismusicyouspeakof, http://werewolfjerusalem.blogspot.com

Label page: http://boredbear.wordpress.com

Future Reviews w/ Excerpts

Posted in Uncategorized by HOLIDAYS on September 9, 2010

While I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile, I’d like to start posting a small excerpt from releases reviewed, so for future reference, if you have something in mind, please e-mail when contacting me, and I’ll be sure to include it (preferably around one or two minutes in length in a compressed format), otherwise, I’ll take a snippet. Thanks.

Plastic Boner Band – The Way of All Flesh (Power Silence, 2009)

Posted in Plastic Boner Band, Power Silence by HOLIDAYS on September 8, 2010

Shame on me.

The Way of All Flesh is an example of my own hypocrisy behind frequent complaints aimed at the ignorance of others who refute music due to an artists name choice (mouth=full). Being a Chicagoland resident, I believe I’ve even seen Samuel Henry’s Plastic Boner Band in action, but didn’t think enough of it to pick up a tape at the time. With all that said, The Way of All Flesh for me equates to 48 minutes aimed at my own ignorance, and reminds me to just shut up and listen.

Composed of 4 well allocated tracks, each does a lot of good on different levels. The first track is a destructive one- long lines of oscillation are constantly bombarded with crushing distorted noise knocking out all other sounds, taming itself near the end. The second track is a bit less dynamic for my ears (sounding more like someone just left their mower on at the end of the season to get all the gas out of it), with some subtle sounds in the background that rarely making a full on presence. The third track is the calmest of the four, consisting mostly of long fades of wobbling oscillation with some eerie whispering creeping in- all of which doesn’t seem to go anywhere but end. The final track is a bit of a rhythmic mind fuck- like something you can bob your head to but still know you’re listening to some pretty harsh noise. In and out, overpowering sounds crush through the rhythm that eventually becomes fairly irritating and messy- evolving and ending in a more chaotic fashion.

Overall, this is a sound release. While CDrs aren’t the most popular medium, the excellent sound quality justifies it, as well as the professional presentation (No DIY here). The artwork is pretty eerie, looking somewhat along the lines of American Girl but with the feeling of Hansel and Gretel. There’s nothing to not like/recommend with this release. It may not be a priority, but it certainly work checking out, so please do so.

Artist page: http://www.myspace.com/plasticbonerband

Label page: http://www.somnimage.com/psintro.htm

A.R.GH – Santiago (Bored Bear Recordings, 2010)

Posted in A.R.GH, Bored Bear Recordings by HOLIDAYS on September 2, 2010

After reviewing A.R.GH’s Abuse awhile ago, I’m grateful to able to follow it up with his most recent offerings on Bored Bear, Santiago. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Abuse, Santiago is a huge step up.

This 3″ contains 2 harsh tracks, each sounding like a distorted radio feedback frenzy that rarely takes any time to breathe. Unlike how I felt about the previous offering, these tracks a thick and full, giving all ends of my speakers a work out- not like HNW full, but pretty close, as A.R.GH style, as I said before, reminds me of more traditional harsh noise- loud and distorted to the max, but still keeping a fast dynamic throughout the entire tracks. There’s plenty of metal junk and feedback to keep any harsh head pleased with the 24 minutes offered up. And once again, I can’t wait to hear what else he has up his sleeve. Highly recommended!

Packaging is minimum- just a silver 3″CDr with some blurry, distorted artwork in a little vinyl pouch.

Artist page: http://myspace.com/arghproject

Label page: http://boredbear.wordpress.com