The Electric Soft Parade Holes In The Wall Review

BBC Review

Another indie corker; 'There's A Silence'...it's a guitar thrashing, cymbal crashing,...

Dan Tallis 2002

The Electric Soft Parade have made an album that surprises, entertains and, at times, makes you thankful that each year some new kids arrive on the scene with fresh ideas and clever chord arrangements which teach the bigger boys a thing or two.

"Empty at the End", for example, with its classic guitar solos and catchy chorus, is a stonkingly good indie anthem that easily sits alongside Oasis's "Rock 'n' Roll Star" and The Charlatans "North Country Boy". And after precisely three stunning minutes it segues effortlessly into another indie corker; "There's A Silence". It's a guitar thrashing, cymbal crashing, feedback climaxing belter!

The Hammond organs, the clean vocal harmonies and funky guitar rhythms evident on Holes In The Wall are not particularly challenging, but on occasion, such as "Something's Got To Give" and "Silent To The Dark", ESP produce fantastic songs with surprising confidence and style. The band don't break any barriers; much of what they have done has been done before; see Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque or lesser known 90s indie kids Geneva or even Little Mothers. OK, Im getting obscure here, but as they say, if you like this then try these...

Mid-album, ESP throw in a couple of quieter ones, "It's Wasting Me Away" & "Sleep Alone"; which contrast well with the noisy guitar tunes and give the listener a chance to enjoy brothers Tom and Alex White's poignant lyrics: "This is what I say when I can't say to you, out of time, out of touch...through the dark nights we sleep alone as if all we know is true".

If this album has a fault it is that 56 minutes is a tad too long; no-one would have missed "This Given Line" or "Red Balloon For Me" had they been dropped.

You might be impressed to know that Alex and Tom play nearly all the instruments themselves and frequently exchange roles when playing live. Or you might be interested to know that the brothers produced this, their fourth album, on their iMacs, at the tender ages of 17 and 20 years old. I wasn't impressed by any of these facts, but what I do admire about ESP is that they have made a great album, full to the brim of cool n'catchy indie pop songs which will be jumping around my head, and hopefully yours, for many months to come.

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