Holy Fever’s self-released full-length debut The Wreckage makes impact on April 8th. I’d heard first single Duress and was hooked, but we’ve all been sold on the cellophane of a band’s entire mojo poured into a single track before. Nonetheless, I fired up the full LP after an unexpected advance hit my inbox. Four minutes later, the sound quickly graduated from laptop to headphones to every fucking speaker in this house, and loud. Holy shit.
This record is all over the place, an adrenalized gorilla bounding from room to room at a house party. It’s a multi-vocaled breakneck series of style-shifting right hooks and phenomenal punk-foundation uppercuts of fucking fun that don’t stop through 34 minutes of alternating spazz/groove rockers. They thrash like The Bronx one minute (Something’s Coming), and roll spiky-gorgeous melodies like Brody Dalle the next (Find Your Fame) – hat tip to Samantha Barbera’s enchanting pipes, and Todd Cooper’s iron-throated versatility. The hooks just never. stop. coming. The gang choruses, the killer riffs, who the fuck are these people?
The spastic jolt of punk excellence you’ll hear below in Duress is one crayon in a box of wild colors that make you wanna chew on ’em, scribble on the walls with ’em, make an ungodly mess with ’em. Start here, then we’ll dig deeper:
Holy Fever is a punk and rock jigsaw puzzle spanning American Nightmare, The Hope Conspiracy, The Explosion and beyond. Across the explosive metronomic percussion of Andrew Black, guitarists Neeraj Kane and Brian Masek set a dynamic color palette ranging from hardcore to pop-punk to straight-up Stones anthemics.
The Wreckage was recorded in Paul Miner’s (ex-Death By Stereo) studio in Orange, CA, and is a unique intersection where wearing the punk uniform isn’t required to dance your ass off at a legitimate punk show.
And the fun is definitely there. Find Your Fame is a slow-stomping strut that bursts open in a choir of “ooooh ooooh ooooooh”s, while Heart Of Gold is a breathless sprint through dueling vocals in a rising-roar sound I need to see onstage immediately. Samantha’s bass anchors What Now? before Cooper’s cantankerous sneer grabs the horns, and makes a pit-baiting punk rocker out of it before a high lead guitar brings all those epic feelings back again.
Having all cut their teeth in previous projects, Holy Fever is a complete framework of sound, a meticulous attention to production detail and fully realized ideas. The immediately captivating dynamic is the polarity of Barbera and Cooper’s voices, alternating between a perfect-pair interweaving of melody and a catapult of momentum for one another. The contrast is alluring – more than a few times I found myself waiting for the other to join any given moment.
Cooper explains the feeling behind Duress: “The sense of urgency and aggression in ‘Duress’ mimics the headspace we were in at the time we wrote it. We were toward the end of writing the record and simultaneously exhausted and filled with adrenaline as we started to see the finish line. Sam had this idea that the chorus would just be one note and the lyric would be one word. This is one of our favorites to play live.”
Can’t wait to see it.
The Wreckage arrives on April 8th. Get upon it. Also follow Holy Fever on the Facebook and the Twitter and SoundCloud. The artwork for the The Wreckage was created by renowned LA-based artist Luke McGarry.
Volleying vocalists and a bedrock of punk and indie-rock brings a roaring adrenaline riot with remarkable depth. Punk purists be damned, this record is fun, powerful and surprisingly dynamic.