RECORD REVIEWS 23-03-2019

HOLY MOLY & THE CRACKERS

Take A Bite (Pink Lane)

holy moly

A six-piece from Newcastle, fronted by violinist Ruth Patterson and guitarist-trumpeter Conrad Bird, their third album pushes the musical envelope beyond their previous ragtag folk to embrace more mainstream retro pop and indie rock. They call it party music and it’s hard to disagree as, Patterson on lead, the album kicks off, reminiscent of The Primitives, with the instantly catchy driving indie guitar pop beat of All I Got Is You and then surges into the riff-engined Upside Down, Rosie Bristow on accordion, and the bass line anchored bluesy swagger of Can’t Get Enough.

Bird and Patterson sharing vocals, Kiss Me Before You Go is all twangy guitar and a circling, tumbling drum pattern courtesy of Tommy Evans and should find favour with fans of Harry & The Howlers. Then there’s a Blondie sly rock edge to Sister before things slow down the moody, blues-stained piano ballad I’d Give It All, the pave picking back up with Eastern flavour introducing the hypnotic rhythms of the title track.

James Shields’ bass again underpins the sassily sung Through With Talking, coloured by Nick Tyler’s electric guitar solo, the album riding to a close on the back of the thumping drum groove of the funky rhythm Who Do You Think You Are, all 80s New York club prowl, the choppy, staccato strobe-light riffery of Naked In Budapest with Bird in gruff vocal mood and, finally, the Latin-inflected fluid soul sway of This Little Light. Take a nibble, and acquire a taste.

Mike Davies

roots-and-branches.com 2018