“From the subtle piano building musical intro of ‘Awake’ that results in the opening exaltation by vocalist Lucas Woodland of the words ‘I’m Alive’ from the track ‘Celebration Song’ the effect is instantaneous, you’re in it for the long haul.”
Having been signed to Sharptone Records from just one single, the inexplicable talent that is Holding Absence are set to release their sophomore album The Greatest Mistake Of My Life, this week.
The fevering expectation and anticipation for the release of this album in to the wide blue yonder is absolutely deserved! The question of ‘the difficult second album’ crumbles into insignificance in the face of this beautiful crafted behemoth of musical emotion.
From the subtle piano building musical intro of ‘Awake’ that results in the opening exaltation by vocalist Lucas Woodland of the words ‘I’m Alive’ from the track ‘Celebration Song’ the effect is instantaneous, you’re in it for the long haul. The sense of passion and emotion pervades through the very sinew of this album and it wraps itself round your very core and it will never let go.
The powerful crack and driving beat of Ashley’s snare signals the intro to ‘Curse Me With Your Kiss’ , a song about the one that got away, encompassed in the poetic abstract, with such fabulous creative wistful lyrics of ‘I dream of you in colours that don’t exist’.
No time to pause and we’re straight in to ‘Afterlife’ such a strong and masterfully crafted piece, from heavy driven, to ambient and what a wonderful acoustic bridge that brings it right back to that epic chorus. It’s a full on scream your lungs out banger!
A pulsing driven anthemic chorus, which knits together the melancholy and melodic lines, the pure emotive vocal expressive from Lucas Woodland that is synonymous with Holding Absence.
Everybody has their own individual musical reference point. A melody, a chorus line, that takes you back to a certain point in your life or hints at certain bands. ‘Drugs and Love’ has a subtle hint of the inescapable best of Deftones, almost drone like yet ethereal, majestic and melodic.
Leading on to ‘In Circles’ another single release that has sealed itself as a massive early favourite with the die-hards and new fans alike, with its softer pop/rock chorus, a clear contrast to the driving opening bars to ‘nomoreroses’ and Lucas vocal ferocity and emotion gripping you and taking you to the edge and back.
‘Beyond Belief’ for me is simply stunning. It gives everything! Upbeat synth-rock, with such a fabulous hook and chorus, reminiscent of the best parts of early U2!
“There is something special about this band! Songs and melody that really speak to you! A connection with their audience that is tangible and real!! A vibrancy and sincerity in their performance.”
From the bands recently released documentary on ‘the making of TGMOML’ it is clear that guitarist Scot Carey’s influence has had a major positive impact on the bands material, a long time member of the band but not heavily involved in the bands stunning self titled debut, but along with working with the amazing Dan Weller has produced some sublime results. The inclusion of Lucas sister Caitlin, provides a piercing and pure counterpart to Lucas vocals on Die Alone (In Your Lover’s Arms).
‘Phantoms’ provides an almost ‘Blade Runner’ cinematic monologue interlude leading into what is a progressive epic, ‘Mourning Song’ with Lucas singing, once again demonstrating an effortless ability to articulate raw and powerful emotion to subdued and gentle, as the song mellows to an acoustic close.
The personal inspiration and family connection for the closing track provides a fitting heartfelt finale to this album, covering the 1930’s Gracie Fields number ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’ complete with that old 78’ vinyl crackle.
Holding Absence have shown in their song writing, they have easily made the transition from monochrome in to full glorious techni-colour and the result is spectacular. This release firmly keeps them on the trajectory of fast rising stars.
Having seen the band on their first trip to Leeds a few years ago and many times in between, seeing this band progress and grow is heartening! You hear their music...you just know!...you see them live....you just know! There is something special about this band! Songs and melody that really speak to you! A connection with their audience that is tangible and real!! A vibrancy and sincerity in their performance. Seeing a band at the beginning of their journey is always a privilege, the ‘I was there...’ or ‘I saw them in a small club back in....’ Trust me, you need this band in your life! And there’s no mistake in that!
There are so many superlatives you could use....so here’s just one. ‘Masterpiece’ 10/10
For more information visit www.holdingabsence.com
Album Review by Steve Harrison