Monday, September 8, 2008
Olehole - "Holemole" review
First of all, it’s pronounced “Olay-ho-lay.” Second of all, its debut album, “Holemole,” pronounced “Ho-lay-mo-lay,” will rock you like a stormy sea.
From Oakland, CA, Olehole consists of singer/guitarist Brian Moss (ex-The Ghost, Hanalei), bassist Dan Wedgwood (ex-Burial Year, Quest For Quintana Roo), singer/guitarist Jackson Blumgart (ex-Quest For Quintana Roo) and drummer Alex Case.
Produced by American Steel’s Ryan Massey, Olehole delivers a barrage of music reminiscent of Helmet's musical sharpness and heaviness.
There’s also an indie/hardcore element to Olehole comparable to that of Thursday.
The first track, “Gatekeeper,” sets the bar high for the nine tracks that follow. Moss’s vocals scream of sarcasm aimed at the “W.A.S.P. hive,” which is the traditional conservative religion in the U.S.
A lot of the song’s titles are interesting, in that the average person (such as myself) has no clue what they mean. For example, track two is titled “Ostinato,” which only the musically savvy can identify as “a motif or phrase, which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice."
“Ostinato” is one of the more catchy tunes on the album, fitted with hard-driving bass lines and delivered with a Jeff Dean (The Bomb, Four Star Alarm) style of guitar playing.
“Monuments of Motion” is another noteworthy track. This is the hardest-driving song on the entire album. Listening to the cranked guitar and bass working together feels like I’m being punched in the ear rhythmatically. It could be these awesome Bose headphones, but it’s definitely Olehole’s massive instruments bombarding my head. I seriously am having trouble describing just how heavy and coordinated this band is.
The cover art to “Holemole” is a depiction of an elephant, which also works with the music.
Have you ever seen an elephant stampede on TV? Have you then ever tried imagining what that must sound and feel like if you were standing beside and under those stampeding beasts? Olehole captures that energy of constant pounding, swelling, tension and quickness and transforms it into beautiful calamity.
“Take the Walk” is another great song, which I believe to be about the shallowness and falseness of individuals. Moss sings,
“Hands clap for empty rhetoric/A crass display of knowledge unapplied
Jaws flap regurgitating text/A bubble dialect of function denied.”
He’s got a good point. Later in the song, Moss sings
“Resting raised fists on an arm chaired couch/Picture painted clear, we’ve got it all figured out.”
He paints a clear picture of apathetic individuals putting up the front and image that they are actually trying to do something, but I get a sense that when it comes down to it, Moss is saying that these so called “activists” and "passionate ones" don’t really do anything and are just in it for the perceived attention of others. Aka “scene points.”
You know, beneath all of Moss’s sincerity, I get the feeling he and the band has a sense of humor due to the names of both the band and the album. Thumbs up on this one.
Check out Olehole at www.myspace.com/pronouncedolayholay.