The Electric Soft Parade – Holes In The Wall (2002): Review

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Produced by The Electric Soft Parade, Chris Hughes and Mark Frith
Label – DB

Brighton’s very own indie heroes started out selling E.P’s under the name Feltro Media. Brothers Alex and Tom White’s early efforts were shambolic raw demo recordings, but sold well in their local area. Signing to Independent label DB in 2001, the pair recruited bassist Matt Thwaites and keyboardist Steve Large and began recording as The Electric Soft Parade. “Holes In The Wall”, their 2002 debut is a montage of differing indie/rock styles, performed with surprising self assurance, and drawing reference to the likes of Ash, Supergrass and Feeder on the harder numbers,Grandaddy and Radiohead on the slower songs.

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What grabs the listener on “Holes In The Wall” is the bands’ efforts to vary the soundscape, from slow electronic approaches, to crash chord interruptions, to ballad style acoustic strum-alongs, and every rock genre is covered. The highlights are the excellent Psyche/Indie “Start Again”, “Empty At The End”, hard rocking “There’s A Silence, the Brit pop “Something’s Gotta Give”, but the real stand-out is the nine minute epic “Silent To The Dark”, which genre hops so many times, but is underpinned by a fantastic hook which bounces in and out, keeping the composition compelling throughout. The ballads don’t stand up quite so well, but overall this is a quality debut from a band who know just how far to experiment, without losing relevance or quality.

“Holes In The Wall” is unexpectedly mature, and potentially very enduring.

 7/10

Track List
“Start Again” – 3:54
“Empty at the End” – 3:01
“There’s a Silence” – 2:52
“Something’s Got to Give” – 3:49
“It’s Wasting Me Away” – 4:17
“Silent to the Dark” – 9:00
“Sleep Alone” – 4:09
“This Given Line” – 4:12
“Why Do You Try So Hard to Hate Me” – 4:38
“Holes in the Wall” – 5:14
“Biting the Soles of My Feet (Same Way Every Day)” – 6:25
“Red Balloon for Me” – 4:12

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