Love • Hate • Control is a release which has you nodding in acknowledgement of its strong initial introduction but over time one which increasingly impresses whilst sparking the licking of lips at certain potent moments. Whether the debut EP from UK alternative rockers Delicate Holly has enough to shake the UK rock scene into attention time will tell but certainly it is a thoroughly enjoyable entrance from a band with the potential of a big future in their creative hands.
Hailing from Cheltenham, the seeds of the 2013 forming Delicate Holly began with a trio of school friends in vocalist/bassist Reuben Lovett and guitar/backing vocalists Alec Hopkins and Dougie Stokes. Already jamming together for a while, the three eventually met and enlisted drummer Toby Jones, with Delicate Holly soon blossoming in songwriting and songs, subsequently making a striking presence on the local scene in swift time. Since then the band has played numerous shows and festivals as well as supported bands such as The Subways and Coasts. Taking inspirations from the likes of The Clash, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, and Nirvana into their own invention, Delicate Holly has increasingly lured attention which the release of Love • Hate • Control through Paper Label Records can only reinforce. As suggested it may not be the break-through proposition for the band but still in their early days, the band make a tasty nudge to their presence with the EP.
First track is Full Body Cast, a song quickly revealing the potent union of guitar and vocal enterprise which fuels all songs. Coaxing around a rhythmic and melodic swing, feet and neck muscles are soon involved with the track’s flirtatious canter with the bass just as vocal in luring a swerve of hips and courting of the imagination. As it continues to persuade with its catchy character and the expressive and greatly alluring vocal delivery of Lovett, the song reveals no real big surprises but quite a few almost cheeky twists, a momentary hook almost echoing The B52s’ Rock Lobster one flavoursome moment. The song’s body is lean but busy, the bass of Lovett alone an increasing drama of ear courting adventure, and all elements across the song combined, it makes a strongly engaging first look at band and EP.
The following Jaws infuses even juicier melodic enterprise into a similarly cultured canvas of sound and invention but does lack the livelier spark of its predecessor. Nevertheless with its infectious guitar jangle and broody bassline, the song leaves ears content and thoughts thickly engaged before making way for the EP’s best offering, Rain-O-Rack. From the first caustic caress of guitar there is open attitude to the song, one which lines the choppy riffs, belligerent bass sound, and tenacious vocals. Simply the track has a snarl; a punk bred carriage and psychosis which lifts it above the rest with ease. There is a feel of Mojo Fury to the encounter too; a volatile air sparked by the unpredictability and aggressive flame which sizzles in ears through the song.
Lemon Man completes the line-up with its warm melodic seducing and temptation, as well as a healthy whisper of R.E.M. in its verses and bluesy tempting to its broader landscape. The track is a fiery but composed croon of rock ‘n’ roll revealing another flavour to the Delicate Holly songwriting and sound and, as the EP itself, growing bigger and more persuasive with every listen.
With the CD treating ears to a clutch of live tracks too, Love • Hate • Control is an accomplished and alluring start from the band and the anticipated beginnings of highly enjoyable times with them.
The Love • Hate • Control EP is available from August 17th via Paper Label Records.