One of Australia’s rising rock acts Holy Holy built on their stellar live reputation with another superb show at Fat Controller. They were joined by solo indie songwriter Alex L’Strange and, in a late announcement, rising Adelaide star Jesse Davidson.
Alex L’Strange had a basic set up, simply a stratocaster into a Fender valve amp and vocals. This minimalist set up worked a treat and demonstrated how sublime a Strat can sound, in comparison with a standard acoustic set up. His vocals sounded strong and clear with interesting social narrative elements in the lyrics with the guitar had a Jeff Buckley-esque reverb to it. Tripwire was one of the more memorable songs on his setlist. The singer songwriter field is a competitive one and as good as Alex is, it’s hard to see him truly cutting through. As an artist he is talented and engaging and he is hot right now, but for how long could depend on his next set of songs and his capacity to come up with a sharper earworm.
With a very competent backing band including Chris Panousakis, AKA Timberwolf, Jesse Davidson again proved why he is one of the most talented artists in the state with a solid set filled with hooks and great arrangements. Davidson is very confident on stage with passionate delivery and he does have a good ear for an emotive hook. In the Morning Light with its creamy guitar and powerful vocals provided amazing finish to a very strong set.
Holy Holy are one of the most reliably impeccable live rock acts going around. From the rolling thunderous drums the pristine clear vocals and the measured ethereal guitars the overall result is nothing short of epic. One of the most important elements is the impressive interplay between the guitar arpeggios and the lead. They hypnotic effect of the dense, layered sound on the audience was visible, with many nodding along with their eyes closed. The searing guitar work of Oscar Dawson, had a real 80’s lounge vibe, in the best of ways. The overall sound of the band is reminiscent of the powerful serious alternative rock acts of the 90s.
“If I Were You” second song in, had a huge live sound and was the point the show really kicked into gear. Signature hit, Heroine, was another highlight with a powerful live sound. Tour single Darwinism actually sounds a lot bigger live than on the recording and shows a clinical, sharp direction which the band might be heading in.
Along with City Calm Down, Holy Holy reflect the epitome of serious Australian alternative rock today.
By Gav De Almeida