Holy Moly and The Crackers: Take A Bite

review holy moly x1 cong

This lot are one of those bands that are fundamentally a live band, playing raucous (but tight) gypsy / dance rock. Imagine Mumfords with a brass section and disco high-hats. And personality.

Regulars at Rode Hall’s Just So festival will have seen many such a band — indeed, Holy Moly and The Crackers were on last year’s Just So bill. The interweb reports that they’re from Newcastle and have played hundreds of shows and 60 festivals, from Glastonbury to Bestival, as well as European ones.

The music is all over the place. Opener All I Got Is You is a pounding get-the-audience-off-their-arses tune, while Upside Down has a vaguely Abba-like synth riff and disco beat.

Can’t Get Enough slows it all down for a light-hearted blues tune — light-hearted because the tune stops for varied guitar twangs. Kiss Me Before You Go gets the audience going bonkers, with a Balkans guitar riff and Adam and the Ant-style pounding drums. I’d Give It All is the slow soulful interlude for people to cool down before Take A Bit crashes in with a Turkish-style guitar riff and a generally eastern sound, the trick repeated with the (presumably biographical) Naked In Budapest, which could be a Boney M tune. Through With Walking is rock with a massive riff — perhaps the best song on the album. Closer This Little Light is a jazzy little swinger.

As with bands like Skinny Lister (also Just So performers), the trick is probably to see them live and then get the album. Bands like this never seem to settle on a happy medium: music to be listened to at home, or music to entertain an afternoon festival crowd who know none of their tunes. If you’re day job is gigging, it’s obvious where your priority is.

Still, an entertaining package. Play loud while you’re doing the housework.

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