ALBUM REVIEW: Holy Moly and The Crackers – Take A Bite (Pink Lane Records)
Eight years after they formed in Newcastle as a self-confessed ‘ragtag folk band’, Holy Moly and The Crackers have released a third album of “riotous party music for the masses”.
Having grown from three core members to first a quartet and now a six-piece, it’s a thrilling reminder of how good music can be when delivered with honesty, passion and conviction.
Folk still lies at the heart of what Holy Moly do, but their sound also contains jazz, funk, rock ‘n’ soul and gypsy-punk of the kind served up by Gogol Bordello.
Lead single All I Got Is You grabs you by the lapels from the start, as vocalist Ruth Patterson’s gorgeous voice soars and swoops.
She shares vocal duties with Conrad Bird, who also contributes guitar and trumpet, while Rosie Bristow is also prominent on accordion.
The addition of guitar, bass and drums has given them a much fuller sound than their earliest days, but the folk influences remain, and it’s an addictive brew.
Upside Down is another swashbuckling song, while Kiss Me Before You Go sees the co-vocalists trade lines, all set over an addictive eastern-influenced beat.
Naked In Budapest, another Bohemian-flavoured song, is perhaps the standout track of the set, and the refrain of “we’re not going home” will be stuck in your head for days.
This groove-laden album is full of such infectious songs, and feels fresh and alive – perhaps because it was recorded song by song, with the band only moving onto the next once they were satisfied with the last.
Overall, it’s a record that anyone who loves good music should add to their collection. Don’t just take my word for it though: buy it, and then go to see Holy Moly live, where they’ll truly blow your socks off. 8/10.