Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

This Holiday Life-Friction

November 1, 2006

thisholidaylifeBand Name: This Holiday Life

Album: Friction

Best Element: Poetic lyrics, intricate melodies, vocal harmony

Genre: Melodic Rock

Website: www.thisholidaylife.com

Label: Dare to Dream Records

Band Email: thl@thisholidaylife.com

Within the thousands of bands across the United States, there are few who really know what they are and what sound they are going for. This Holiday Life is resoundingly one of those few.

Friction, the southern California rock band’s second release, defines This Holiday Life as a band of message, substance, and melody. From Scott Anderson’s captivating vocals and lyrical poetry to Joseph Freeman’s melodious guitar work and Bobby Anderson’s subtle bass, all tied in by Mark Nagel’s rhythm, Friction is fourteen tracks of fulfilling bliss.

The album bounces into rhythm with the catchy “Don’t Stand Up.” The memorable lyrics, excellent vocal harmony, and atmospheric/peaceful guitars set the mood not only in “Don’t Stand Up,” but also the rest of the CD.

Vocal harmony and bass melodies carry the album to “Digital.” Singing about long nights and low lights, Anderson takes the listener away. The pure melody of songs like “Digital” on this album are natural captivators and hold the listener hostage from the first note to the last chord.

“Motions” paints the picture of a night on the sea, swaying to the rhythm of the ocean through its lyrics, while other notable tracks on the album are “Lost Without Love” and “Aeroplanes.” However, each track literally entails a journey in and of itself.

If there was anything to criticize about Friction, it is the fact that many of the songs contain the same formulaic structure in terms of sound. Every song has strong emphasis on vocal melodies, both lead and harmonic, with the guitars, bass, and sometimes a piano all exchanging musical melody in the background. In this respect, listening to the album from the first song to the last song can become tiresome depending on the listener’s mood.

Individually, however, each song comes off as powerful and enticing. Anderson’s vocals are unflawed, Freeman’s beautifully crafted leads run over each rhythmic chord, B. Anderson fills the void with melodic bass lines, and Nagel holds the melody together with gentle beats, dramatic builds, and timely fills.

This Holiday Life knows who they are and what they are doing. If you’re a fan of Switchfoot, indie rock, or feeling peace in an unstable world, pick up Friction as soon as you can. It’s the nirvana you’ve been seeking.

-Erik Williams

endlesscreed@charter.net

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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