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kr352.jpgHoly Hail
Independent Pleasure Club
Kanine Records
8/10

Okay, I have to be up front. Having read the press kit that came with this disc, I absolutely wanted to hate this band. When I read “pop…and electro with an occasional country twang” the first thing that came to mind was “Cotton Eye Joe” by Swedish dance group Rednex. Holy Hail, you did not make a good first impression. I am available to write press kits, by the way.

Luckily for Cat and crew, the supposed country influence is overstated, and the disc is incredibly solid. Here’s a bold statement that should tickle their fancy – Holy Hail has put together a collection of songs that is better written, more danceable, and more fun than the over-rated, hype-machine “Partie Traumatic” by Black Kids. Yeah, I said it. Meant it, too.

The cover art was a bad choice and reminds me of something that would have been on Touch and Go in the 1980s more than an indie/electro band from the 2000s. The album name might be a poor choice as well, unless I’m correct in reading it as a nod to masturbation. It’s what is on the inside that matters though, folks, and this album is beautiful on the inside, just like that ugly significant other you left for your current, mentally vacant, attractive mate.

“Luck Will Find You” and “Peep Show” were probably the weakest tracks of the bunch. I would have buried them in the middle of the album rather than sticking them up front. “Independent Self Devotion” starts out rough, but picks up about midway through. “Elemental,” “Cool Town Rock,” and “Flying Kites from Satellites” were all great tunes. It might not be as radio friendly as the Bee Gees-sounding, near-disco of the Black Kids, but this is by far a more genuine, thoughtful and interesting release.

-Luke Toney