No surprises but some cracking tunes.
Holy Moly and the Crackers have been a hard-working band for over a decade. When asked, they can deliver festival-friendly folky-stomps that have earned them a significant fanbase in the UK and abroad.
The release of their latest album, ‘Solid Gold’ derives ideas, style and taste from a broad and diverse range of sources, not least, as a result of a trip to Austin, Texas twelve months ago. Band co-leader Conrad Bird, who plays a mean trumpet, explains the creation of ‘Solid Gold’ as an album of reflection, maturity and emotion. Band members looked at the music that moved them.
The album was recorded in Newcastle’s Blank Studios and produced in the Netherlands by Wessel Oltheten. Anyone watching their most recent videos will see the influence the visit to the States has had on the band’s increasingly smart and sassy approach. ‘Hot Red’ has a great bassline and a delicious finger snap at the end of the first chorus. An accompanying monochrome video has a Marlowe-esque vibe complete with bakelite phones. Another album single, ‘Skyline Drive’ is about living it large in the hills above the Colorado River. Living the dream for a moment is better than not living it at all.
Other highlights are Bird and Lyons sharing vocals on ‘My Money’ with some mighty bass riffs from Jamie Shields. There’s also the riff-laden finale, ‘Angeline’. It hints at the band’s longing to be back in Texas. The big skies, big roads and… the food?
The bold riffs and propulsive drumming take a back seat on the very personal, ‘Come on Down’ and the almost spiritual ‘Give Me a Hammer’, the lyrics on both being the band’s strongest and most thought-provoking. And Lyon’s fiddle playing gets a chance to shine, the songs more reminiscent of the band’s folk-fringed tag. This is an album to play while getting ready to go out into the night.