The red-hot Glasgow quartet’s debut EP wastes no time in making your speakers their own.
Greeting you with a fusion of drums and guitars that hit like a Glasgow Kiss, opening track ‘Ladybird Love’ instantly introduces and entices listeners into their spiralling stairways of sound. Lead singer Pat Hynes possesses the kind of voice that could cut diamonds, at once giving Holy Esque’s output the feeling of an epic.
Having previously supported fellow noise terrorists WU-LYF, lazy comparisons are inevitable. However, the Glaswegians music seems tinged in a uniquely Scottish hue, with their songs inevitably crawling and crowing to glorious climaxes.
‘Rose’ continues this musical rollercoaster, sounding one part We Are Augustines and another part Echo & The Bunnymen. Hynes vocals are again at the fore (indeed there is little that could keep such a force contained) as he preaches that “Rose is my home/The home of the light/Light only exists/ For me and you in the night”. Guitarist Hugo McGinley’s stadium sized accompaniment helps the song sprawl from being a mere Loveless era knock-off to a truly 21st century sounding affair.
Remaining tracks ‘Loneliest Loneliness’ and ‘Prophet Of Privilege’ continues the EP’s theme if perhaps not the potency of its opening salvos. They both demonstrate Holy Esque’s intangible ability of being able to conjure up threatening atmospherics you can’t tear your ears away from. This is a feat all the more commendable considering they do it sans-bass guitar. ‘…Privilege’ also showcases the band’s capacity to keep things simple, with a plain drum beat and early Kings Of Leon sounding guitars packing more emotion into 4 minutes than the Followill brothers now hope to spread over an entire album.
Ultimately Holy Esque will prove a distinctly marmite band for some. Hynes’ vocals radiate visceral energy and a raw accent that perhaps many outside of Scotland will simply struggle to understand. Whilst this may be the case, the band’s integrity of sound will surely make listeners feel what they are singing about. The lack of a bass guitar doesn’t render their sound bottomless but instead seems to unhook the 4-piece and allow them to soar. It is an EP to get excited about and a band to get passionate for. In an age of Godlessness it is the closest thing you’ll hear to religion today.