Holding Sand

On Sleepless Nights

Written by: TL on 15/03/2011 00:00:40

My my, what do you know. I don't review many French bands for some reason, and even fewer French post-hardcore bands, but judging from "On Sleepless Nights", the sophomore EP which was recently sent to us by Tours-based quintet Holding Sand, maybe I should make a point to sample their scene more often.

You see, here's a band that is all but typical for the current post-hardcore climate. In a world of monstrous beatdowns, lightning speed fret-work, auto-tuned vocals and a complete departure from all that sounds organic, here is suddenly a band that sounds more like the emocore bands that got the ball rolling back in the early noughties.

If you remember the early records of bands like Finch, Funeral For A Friend and Senses Fail with any fond feelings, then Holding Sand has something for you. Their music is a similar fusion of nu-metal riffs, heavy-metal solos, scratched emo-singing and hardcore breaks and screams. You got your tapped leads ringing behind meaty chords and a nicely audible bass, and you got your raspy screams and strained vocals often combining to sing lyrics at the same time.

It's hard for me to say however, if those words truly describe what I find so enjoyable about the songs on "On Sleepless Nights", I simply have that nice feeling you might know, from when something sounds both familiar and at the same time delightfully novel. That's what I get from the sound here, and for once, I sense that here is a band that is more concerned with the feel and message of its songs, than it is with competing with contemporaries in terms of complexity or gimmickery.

It isn't overly complicated what these guys do, but songs like "The Future Belongs To Heartless Whores", "Black Is The New Black" and "What Eyes Betray" still have an immediate quality and integrity to them. I don't quite feel like it's something that lets itself be explained very well, but considering that it took all of two listens to convince me that this was a band I wanted to look out for, I honestly don't think it matters whether you make sense of my babbling or not, as long as you heed my recommendation check this stuff out yourself:

Download: The Future Belongs To Heartless Whores, Black Is The New Black, What Eyes Betray
For The Fans Of: classic material from the likes of Finch, Funeral For A Friend, Senses Fail and Emanuel
Listen: facebook.com/pages/Holding-Sand

Release Date 2010

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