The Holloways – So This is Great Britain?
Record Label: TVT Records
Release Date: September 4, 2007
“So this is Great Britain and welcome aboard.” Welcome to funny accents, bad teeth, blood pudding, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Apparently not. According to the Britpop rockers The Holloways, instead we should expect “a sinking ship that’s full of shit [where] someone nicked the oars.” Sounds inviting. Well, at least we’ll have The Holloways to cheer us up upon our arrival. After all, they say that all they need is “a record player and a generator [to] generate the music that makes you feel better.” And while this statement might hold true for the song that contains it (lead single, “Generator”), the remainder of the songs fail to hold up to the claim.
So This is Great Britain? is The Holloways’ debut release – the guitar-pop laden album did well on the charts when released in the UK last year, and with a hot single, the band is hoping to have the same success overseas. And, love it or hate it; Britpop is back, people. The Holloways, following in the footsteps of The Clash, Babyshambles, and The Libertines, do a pretty good job of pulling off the sound on a few songs. “Generator”, “Dancefloor”, and “Two Left Feet” effectively combine the Britpop ska sound with some clever, charming lyrics and some pretty lovely hooks. Add the title track to the list and you notice that four of the album’s best songs are in the first five tracks. This does not bode well for the album as a whole.
Most albums usually have filler evenly distributed throughout the disc - at least this way you have some incentive to listen to the album all the way through. So this is Great Britain? gets all of the good stuff out of the way as soon as possible. What we’re left with is eight sub-standard, filler songs in a row. Who’s going to want to sit through all of that? Not me and probably not you. “Most Lonely Face” is a decent attempt at a slower ballad, but it tries too hard at being heartfelt and genuine and instead comes off cheesy. “Malcontented One” is a fun midtempo ska song ruined by lousy lyrics: “Second verse, second verse. Already lost for words”. “What’s the Difference” is painfully annoying with its repetitive lyrics and extended solo. It just gets worse from there.
The Holloways have enormous potential as the fun Britpop band of a new generation. End So this is Great Britain? at the sixth track, and you’d have an excellent EP. Listen to it all the way through (if you can) and you’ve got a mediocre release with a handful of good (really good) songs. With any luck, these blokes will be able to find their stride with their next release. Here’s hoping.
It seems weird to me to read about the Holloways on here because they are just one of many, many, many indie bands that are completely saturating the charts over here at the moment. They're a completely typical example of another copy-cat indie band of which there really are so many. Its just odd that they're apparantly getting more attention than anyone else. Theres a few standout bands such as Franz Ferdinand, the Arctic Monkeys etc.
The music scene over here annoys me so much. Its so unoriginal at the mo.