27 Mar 2014

Holy Wave "Relax"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

This is one of my favorites of the year so far, and I've resisted the urge to review it up until now, as I know that as soon as it's made its way off my "to review" playlist, it'll get tucked away and not be revisited on the almost daily basis that it's been listened to over the last month. Although that may mean that I'll get more work done.

Released through the Austin Psych Fest's "Reverberation Appreciation Society" label (which you know is a sign of class), "Relax" is a fabulous slice of trippiness that could not exist without the influence of yesterday, but never fails to sound like a product of the here and now.

Drenched in lysergic organwork and treated, underwater vocals, there are plenty of moments here that bring to mind the P.O.V shots in old exploitation films, where the hero has just realized that his drink is spiked and the room starts spinning wildly, although in this case it's an intoxicating experience that I keep going back for more of.

What makes "Relax" such a winner though is the fabulous pop hooks on display in each and every one of these tracks. "Psychological Thriller" sounds like the Clean walked in on sessions for the first Love album, while "Night Tripper" starts off sounding like the best surf-Velvet Underground tribute ever before the drummer spontaneously combusts in an explosion of cymbals.

Great stuff, and still revealing new layers after more than a month's solid listening.

Available on Vinyl, and CD here.

Download and full stream available here:

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