June 18, 2024

HOLIDAY GHOSTS – “West Bay Playroom” –  pure sunshine fun – a review


This is absolutely pure lo-fi speedy rock and roll fun. Short songs, rinky-tink organ, ooo-eee-ooo backing choruses, dead simple themes. Retro, silly and fun.

Loose and deceptively simple, down to earth – I’m put in mind of a folksier version of The Kingbees’ sole 1980 release. Direct, real, but not crude – everything has been carefully set out and shaped to the current trim dimensions. A four-piece from Falmouth, on the south coast of England, there is a deep love of American rock and roll here, permeated with the ethos of The Modern Lovers and The Velvet Underground without anywhere approximating their sound. They step into any allied style they want; bit bluesy, country amble, a bit cinematic; whatever suits their mood. This album, their second, was recorded in their rehearsal room, where they could set up and record live in the free-spirited way they wanted to. Elements of garage punk are tempered with a deep love of simple pop song structures and the result is a total joy to listen to. I’m put in mind of the sound of Jonathan Richman’s 1977 album, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll with the Modern Lovers’, a benchmark for me in its natural feel and dedication to authenticity of feeling and sound.

One to smile to. One to savour. One to make you happy that there are people who just like making simple pop music that is about the feel of a band playing more than the polish of a multi-track.

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