Holy Wave: The Evil Has Landed Part II


Holy Wave: The Evil Has Landed Part 2

In a world of faux social connection bands rise out of hype to show no substance once fully in the light. In this moment of no tolerance for giants, where longevity and ego are despicable to nearly all, bands get discarded before coming close to catching stride as soon as the crowd stops looking like a carbon-copy collective of friends. No one has the time to argue the merits of our broken system, we walk this path acutely aware of the double-standards we rally behind; yes we agree that nearly everything we have loved has eventually let us down; we agree that the personality driven Mac Demarco’s of this world are far more relevant to the current psyche than the grind-it-out ever developing Natural Child’s. We dig DeMarco and we dig Natural Child, there is no discomfort or duality to be discussed, those who believe in lines and choose to stand to one side or the other are immature (or metal fans), the issue arises with how we handle those who politely circumvent the two paths. Maybe circumvent is the wrong way to put it, although from the outside that remains the clearest definition, what I’m saying is, in a world where we know the game is rigged, in a world where we idealize an existence where it is not, what happens to the bands who choose not to subscribe to the modus operandi; bands who never gain hype but manage to gain respect? In most cases they get buried, become cliff notes to what made a scene or period great, but every now and then POW they become legends, a result seemingly far more based on chance than on listener involvement; these are the Ty Segall’s and the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s, the ones with always faithful fans and a consistently honest sound. All of that being said let us discuss Holy Wave, the most well known and respected of relatively unknown and disrespected bands in the world…a band far too great for their fate to continuously rely upon chance.

Unless you are the type who believes Kanye is good and refresh the Coachella website hourly for some sort of hint at next year’s lineup (in which case you probably have been clueless since the very first sentence about everything you have read and I personally am confused as to why you would have followed along this far), at some point over the last four years, regardless of where you reside, you have either enjoyed catching a Holy Wave set at some cramped bar/festival, or at the very least you are friends with someone who is obsessed with music and will not shut up about them, either way it is odd to find someone unaware in a cordial way of these EL Paso via Austin dudes.

Holy Wave are one of  the hardest working bands around, they are the band who label’s, blog’s, and magazine’s collective hearts swoon in awe over. So why in the hell, even amongst friends, do I feel as if I am still trying to sell them to you….to us? The key to this relationship between you and I is honesty and if we are in fact being honest, I blame The Black Angels. The Black Angels were, to some, heralded as psychedelic saviors and they burnt those who propped them up. Proving to be too cowardly to push themselves outside of the thinly veiled capitalistic holier-than-thou box we mistook for potential and it left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone–understandably. The Black Angels represent what it is like to get friend-zoned by someone you thought you were slightly out of the league of, that person you humbled yourself to flirt with and they cold shouldered your advances only to hook up weeks later with some lamer yet slightly better looking person in your same social circle. You are still friends and all but in the back of your mind that rejection still lingers. Unfortunately, both bands being out of Austin, both bands having similar touring paths, similar fans, to the laymen even a quasi-similar sound, we seemingly keep them at arms reach out of some inarticulated fear of being fooled again but dammit the two could not be more different and it is about time they got legitimate respect. Who has silently worked harder? Who has remained more humble? Put any one of their records on at a party and try finding someone who isn’t an EDM douche who doesn’t dig it, it will not happen.

So here is the point where I should mention their latest 10″ The Evil Has Landed Part II (The Reverberation Appreciation Society) and tell you why it is great and stuff but you already know. We know. With every Holy Wave song, every Holy Wave album, we go on timidly beating the drum for, quietly whispering praise. I am growing tired from it. Holy Wave is a great band, we should be supporting them as such, in our hearts we know we have not done enough.

Is paying more than ten bucks to see them really so terrifying? Is the possibility of having to stand next to someone at a show who isn’t wearing some combination of denim and leather or has never heard of Hawkwind really that invasive? Friends are always pontificating about what destroys bands or over-saturates scenes. Sure I agree the “I’ll catch the next show” attitude is disruptive to the collective whole, sure bands stop playing without anyone there to watch them. You know what is far worse though? Having twenty Johnny Rockers standing around smoking in the doorway bitching about how weird the crowd is and how you use to like the band first. Holy Wave create music above that sort of bullshit so they deserve more than the quiet solemn adornment we have thus laid at their feet in hopes of keeping them to ourselves.

How many more albums can we expect them to put out before life and poverty cause the entire being to crumble between their talented fingers? Stop keeping bands to yourselves. Don’t worry, the sheep will keep going ape for the latest Adele album and will always treat us as unbathed social pariahs regardless. This house will not crumble on itself, if someone we know gets out of the van and into a bus relax it is only music, the end is not nigh. There is no preemptive measure we can take to avoid the terrifying reality that some bands will eventually let us down, hell maybe Holy Wave themselves will in fact do just that, does it justify keeping them as our own personal secret? Does it justify keeping good people from sustaining themselves on that which they have devoted so much effort towards?

After all these years Holy Wave are clearly a band who manage to allow their direction to meander in progress rather than having it choked to death by capitalistic ambitions. They are a band who despite all the incredible shows and ensuing compliments remain humbly approachable. So as you are listening through The Evil Has Landed Part II and you find yourself digging one song more than another; don’t be lame, share it, tell someone about it. Tell the band thanks by picking up a tangible copy. Do something other than just listen. We have continued on merely listening for far too long. So many of the bands/people who we loved have disappeared as a result. We are better than that. Speak up for once.

These six songs are only meant to appease us, come March be on the lookout for their upcoming full length Freaks of Nurture (The Reverberation Appreciation Society), it is hardly a stretch to say it will be substantial, I really just hope that between this EP and the upcoming album we will finally see a band getting the long overdue outspoken recognition they deserve.

Holy Wave: The Evil Has Landed Part 2
written by Jay Armstrong

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