Review: The Holdup – Still Gold

Review: The Holdup – Still Gold

The Holdup – Still Gold
Track Listing:
1.) Alone with You
2.) One More Day
3.) Ruin Love
4.) The Girls
5.) Still the Same
6.) Move On
7.) Whatever
8.) Miss You
9.) Looks is Deceiving
10.) The Drugs
11.) Glad to be Home
12.) The Drugs (CS)
13.) Hunnies and Hustlas Shout Outs

The Pier Album Rating:

Record Label: Dub Rock Records
Release Date: April 26th, 2011

Group Background:
The Holdup formed in early 2008 when drummer Danny Flores and lead vocalist Mike Garmany recruited local bassist Kyle Christensen. They began writing songs and performing small local venues around town. It wasn’t long before a fanbase gathered and the request for an album began to spread. Not having any recorded material the band decided it was time to hit the studio to record their first EP. Later that Year, the band recruited Clev Stiles as DJ/Band Manager, the chemistry and fit were undeniable and The Holdup was finally complete.

The Holdup released their first EP in the summer of 2008, and instantly sold a thousand copies. The EP was a huge hit and got the attention of the local independent record label, Dub Rock Records. A few weeks later, The Holdup signed exclusively with Dub Rock and began recording their first full length album Stay Gold. In March 2009 the long awaited album Stay Gold was finally released on Dub Rock, and debuted at an impressive number #34 on the Top 100 Reggae Albums on iTunes. In 2010 The Holdup released their sophomore album Confidence.

Album Review:
With their new album Still Gold, The Holdup brings their fans an earful of goodness. This young band has made quite an impression on the NorCal music scene and it sounds like they are not stopping any time soon. With an awesome blend of reggae, hip hop, dub and rock, their multi-genre fusion works just right, and provides the listener with a fun, easy going experience.

Their new album opens with Alone with You, a sexy song about a love interest with a fun and catchy reggae rhythm. The second track on the album is probably the most honest of them all, another nice reggae piece, One More Day talks about the not so fun side of being a band and dealing with the bleak side of the music industry. They also talk about being “pigeonholed” into one genre and the expectations laid upon them. I think this song reveals the band’s realization that being a band isn’t just about girls, money and fame but it also comes along with bad promoters, sucky shows, competition, and bad press to name a few; these are some of the reasons why bands break up, let’s just hope the guys don’t let this get the best of them. In this song they talk about some specific instances where they felt they were wronged and it also illustrates that the band is maturing, growing and evolving. They are obviously not the same as they were when they first started playing, they have now gotten a real taste of what it is to be a reggae/rock band and now they are taking that knowledge and moving forward.

Ruin Love has a more mainstream sound to it, a song about the game of love, I tend to skip this one every time probably because the following song The Girls, featuring Weege of 880 South, is my favorite song on the album. It starts out with an awesome piano melody before the drums come on and by then you are bobbing your head to the beat of a catchy chorus as the vocals are delivered in a rap style.

The core of the album is filled with songs about love, bad relationships, memories, partying and disloyal friends. The song The Drugs talks about just that, go figure, and there’s a remix of it a few songs later which is anything less than exciting, the only cool part about the remix may be the less than stellar scratching. The song Glad to be Home has a feel good melody and a nostalgic tone. The album closes with Hunnies and Hustlas Shout Outs a track where Clev and Mike Thank some of their most devoted supporters, it’s a nice touch but you know that track is getting skipped every time right?

For being at an early stage in their career, The Holdup has proven to be consistent with their ambitious delivery of feel good, fun reggae infused music. With the release of their 3rd album Still Gold the band has solidified their place in the reggae scene and has demonstrated their steady progress. This album exposes their new found knowledge about the scene, the industry and life altogether which is a clear indicator that growth is taking place musically as well as individually. I found the album to be very easy listening, their sound is clean and production is on point. I found the subject matter to be very age specific which makes it hard to connect for me since I feel I am somewhat passed some of the phases they may be going through in life. I also wasn’t necessarily impressed by the use of the words ho, bitch and groupies throughout the album. I do love the honesty in their songs and I feel that their sound is very radio friendly and I can sense a transition from an underground sound to one that is more mainstream. I would like to see The Holdup share their NorCal flavor with the rest of the nation and expand their fan base from coast to coast.

You can pick up Still Gold on iTunes by clicking HERE

Written & Reviewed by: Mariana Norcalchika Rojas
~Let The Music Take You Higher~

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]