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Our Little Hymnal

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Album Review

Everything about the debut album from this New Jersey-based sextet — the band name, the cover design, song titles like "Poor in Spirit" and "Third Selah" — seems designed to make you expect country-gospel. What you get instead is something that sounds like Bono singing lead vocals for a band consisting of members of both Echo & the Bunnymen and Cocteau Twins. The group's primary sonic element is guitars, and lots of them: big, dense, glittery, multi-layered guitars, most of which sound like guitars but some of which sound like other things (flutes, for example, on the lovely "Marylawn Hair"). Lyrics are a bit hard to tease out from the shimmering murk, but based on punning song titles like "Mercy Beat" (which manages to refer to both classic pop and old-time religion), they probably aren't as self-important as singer John Mosloskie's U2-ish delivery might lead you to expect. And there really is a lot of subtly cool stuff going on at a purely musical level: notice the whimsical choral vocals and handclaps on "Captive Train," for example. But there are also a few pretentious low points, the worst of them being the arch and halting "Poor in Spirit." Recommended overall.

Customer Reviews

Jesus Christ, what a find!

I stumbled upon this looking at the new releases section of iTunes and bought it immediately upon listening to the clips. The first couple tracks are particularly great - dense, melodic, very well written and catchy. You just get lost in the music. Throughout the record are hints of Ride, Radiohead, and Jeff Buckley. Such a fantastic find!

Good, really good

Best band I've heard in the past 10 years.

Remember the first time you realised how beautiful life could be?

Remember the first time you realised how beautiful life could be? Let me guess, you were listening to some gorgeous build-up with your headphones snugly placed, your hands scrunched up, your heart stopped beating, you might have cried. It’s okay; don’t be embarrassed. If you haven’t experienced something like this then I suggest you try New Jersey’s passionately aggressive Holler! Wild Rose. If you have enjoyed this momentous thrill, Our Little Hymnal is all that and more. Packed to the brim with juicy, yet hollow and fragile, indie rock build-ups, and overflowing with delicate Bowie-esque interpretations, Holler! Wild Rose blend together organic elements with their eyes closed, letting the sounds escape their modest bodies. Already possessing a strong following back home, it’s only a matter of time before Canada latches onto these artful melodies and deep-cutting lyrics. The first track is a defining moment for the band’s melodic outbursts, whereas “Mercy Beat” is low-key and reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen. Each track is perfected and comes with a purpose, ensuring Holler! Wild Rose are an act that won’t be quieting down anytime soon.


Formed: 2002 in Paterson, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

There are two basic types of epic, grandiose music in contemporary indie rock. On one side, there are artists inspired by the likes of U2 and Jeff Buckley, where the vocals and lyrics take center stage and the music is there to support the strong personality of the lead singer. Then there are the post-rock bands, where vocals — if they're part of the music at all — are a minimal afterthought, treated as just another instrument: Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Do Make Say Think,...
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Our Little Hymnal, Holler, Wild Rose!
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