HOT PRESS REVIEW
Cork-based Noel Holmes is the epitome of creative independence, writing the songs, playing a shopful of instruments, arranging and producing all the tracks, and even making the videos for them. And yet, he steadfastly avoids falling into the trap of self-indulgence that some in similar situations plunge headlong into. Hardly any of the tracks break the four-minute barrier and a couple come crisply in under three. You could file the entire enterprise under ‘loud pop/rock’, with songs fully decked-out with proper sturdy melodies and harmonies, inventive guitar/synth fills and accessible, literate lyrics. And despite being a one-man-band project, it still manages to (mostly) sound like an actual band giving it shedloads.
Holmes’ voice is full of conviction. After the almost soulful discofied opener ‘Sublime', he turns up the heat, rarely taking his eye off the ball for all nine tracks. The rugged rhythms of ‘Two-Step’ exemplify Holmes’ unerring instinct for marrying the right sounds with the right sentiment. ‘Seeing It Clearly’ eases off a little, and the leathery drums enliven the martial oompah of ‘White Knight’. Clattering percussion and splashing cymbals propel ‘Emotion Corrosion’, leading into the no-nonsense punk-metal of ‘Hypnotize’. ‘Maybe Jimmy’s Right’ shows no mercy from the off, and ‘Silver Lining’ has touches of Bowie and hints of the orient. Holmes’ admirable work ethic has earned him success on the horror film scene, so expect his music profile to head in a similar direction – upwards.
- Jackie Hayden