Holler, Wild Rose! must have been reading my mind when they sat down to record this particular album. Our Little Hymnal takes bits from almost too many of my favorites, tossing in elements of Sigur Ros, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and The Verve. I know I know... it is almost a mind explosion worth of sources, but somehow this New Jersey band was able to harness those powers and channel them into a damn beautiful album.
The first track is also their band name, which I do find to be a little weird. Regardless, frontman John Mosloskie's vocals teeter on that brink of Buckley-esque madness that even Our's Jiimmy Gnecco at times has a difficult time achieving. That is no knock against Gnecco, who is one hell of a talented dude, but Mosloskie takes no apologies for going balls to the wall on this one. Washes of guitars pour down over the vocals, making for a near-Sigur Ros sonic storm of shoegaze glory. Okay Holler, Wild Rose!, you've officially given me chills down my spine, and this is only the first track.
For shoegaze fans, you'll immediately think of My Bloody Valentine within the first seconds of "Mary Lawn Hair." The looped, droning keys sound like they were taken from any number of songs from Loveless, particularly "To Here Knows When." This song is best listened to with the lights off and blinds closed, allowing your mind to drift away into the euphoric soundscape that is Holler, Wild Rose!
"Mercy Beat" is quite a bit more straightforward, falling much more into the realm of early Verve mixed with more of those Buckley meets Yorke vocals. They embrace the soft/loud formula of bands such as iLiKETRAiNS to near perfection throughout this one, and it is very, very nice.
A few of the longer tracks, such as "Sun Vines," feel a bit lost, but the gloom filled beauty of "Thief In Our Bed" gets Our Little Hymnal back on track. "Color That Sky" is another treat, taking their time over the span of eight minutes to add in bits of reverbed guitars and glistening guitars that help push Mosloskie's falsetto vocals into the stratosphere. This makes me want to throw on Sigur Ros' Takk album in the next few minutes.
Although Holler, Wild Rose! may lack a bit in originality, they pull from an interesting group of musical inspirations to make up for their lush sound. With the musical power held between front man Mosloskie, drummer Ryan Smith, guitarist Ryan Cheresnick, bassist Scott Vangenderen, multi-instrumentalist Mike Ortega and guitarist Lou D'Elia, I am quite curious to hear what else they have up their sleeves. Their shoegaze meets prog sound has mountains of potential, making them a band to definitely keep an eye on.