The country of Holland appears to be a beautiful place, in pictures; with massive consuming tidal waves and lush scenery. But the true question at hand is if the new Tooth and Nail power act Holland, no relation, is also just as stunning and just as panoramic. The group began with two brothers, Josiah and Will Holland, bass and vocals/ guitar wonder teens, who later added super drum extraordinaire Yogi Watts (My Friend Stephanie, Field Day Superstar). Now, with the help of marvelous producer Aaron Sprinkle, they have crafted a pop rock record that defies convention but keeps common roots that music fans already love so well, but still don't know the half of.
Leading things off is "The Whole World" which begins of Blur's "Song #2" but adds a keyboard-like play of a one Andrew W.K. rounding out a beautifully catchy pop tune while "I'm Not Backing Down" slows things down a bit but keeps the attractiveness flowing. "Shine Like Stars" follows pop/ rock wonderment while "Because Of You" strips everything away only bringing acoustic guitar and vocals as a gorgeous ballad of heart-wrenching sentiment. "One Minute To Zero" catches up with the prior pace with another punk pop feel while "Call It A Day" comes up as arguably the greatest rock track of the album with memorable lyrics such as "I jumped the gun again, I lost my only friend. To the hands that made the stars, that draw me closer."
"The West Coast" brings a beautiful lead guitar and thought provoking lyrics while "Bring Back July" comes in as another highlight about a yearning to make things right again. "Genetics" follows, and is sadly weak on all cylinders. "Losing Jim" comes next and surprises the world as the greatest track of the album, a depressing tear jerker; while "Goodnight Texas" apparently shows the disdain of the Holland boys and their rodeo ridin', oil wailing home. "Photographs and Tidalwaves," the last song and same name as the title, illustrates a glimpse of how the group is not afraid to jump into new musical waters. These waters being one step away from techno, but not in the direction of awful.
Holland appears to be one of the next most promising acts of music today, and beyond. A live show that slays, and a record that consumes stereos; there is no losing. Photographs and Tidalwaves is no holds barred, straight up rock and roll. The future looks bright for these youngsters with no problems of musically changing, and no sense of backing down. For fans of all bulk and no flash, pick up Photographs and Tidalwaves, and don't just take a picture; buy the CD, it'll last longer.- Review date: 1/19/03, written by Blake Garris
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