Guided into and out of the astral plane, Holy Wave‘s Interloper takes us on a trip around the sun, through the cosmos, and back to our own train of thought, all in just forty-four minutes, presenting us with a song for every mood of the summer.
Holy Wave from Austin, Texas is not your typical Southern American rock band. Their psychedelic garage rock roots have been ever-evolving over the course of their twelve-year career, and they’re laid out on display with their fifth LP titled Interloper – coming to us at a time where escapism is on the rise and people need something to do.
First track “Schmetterling” arpeggiates an ear-catching synth tone as the song progresses into a smashing jam band groove. The soft, gliding vocals throughout the song really upheld the insightful notion of lyrics like ‘Never divided or fully united we’ll stand until we fall‘ and ‘Happiness is treason/everyone’s a clown‘. The album’s third and titular track is its own journey, one that caused me to daydream my time away. Picture this: a dreary, rainy twilight in downtown London – passing faces, near a dimly lit train station. It’s calming and pressing. The gentle, melancholic melody then changes its contrast to be utterly hopeful and embracing, really pulling together a wonderful experience and a stupendously well-written song.
The following track, titled “Maybe Then I Will Cry”, is Interloper‘s biggest standout to me. It flows so gracefully, its solid foundation rhythm section jogging along accompanied by a genuinely fun instrumental ending section that leaves you wanting more. I found the meaning of the song to be rather relatable, discussing what men are taught as children: ‘Learn to be tall and strong/don’t trust anyone/learn to fight and most of all/keep those tears of yours inside‘. As the album continues to pass us by, we are introduced to an almost ’80s-like robotic synth pop song called “I’m Not Living In The Past Anymore”, which really shows Holy Wave‘s diversity within their own ability to integrate their signature sound into different styles.
Although tracks like “No Love” and “Hell Bastards” help mold Interloper into this crusade of time and space, it’s their song “Buddhist Pete” that plays an important role in raising the excitement one step further. Full of intoxicating riffs, captivating synth leads, and melodies, it causes a mirage in your brain. It felt as though they were taking you through a mind safari that lasts for over six minutes. I found myself hitting repeat and searching for live videos on many lunch breaks just to listen to it whenever I had the chance.
The record finishes on “Redhead”, which definitely mellows things back down before the final departure. Slowly fading into existence, the track is a perfect fit to follow “Buddhist Pete”. An almost nostalgic vibe with trance-like guitar builds up the song and makes way for the blaring feedback that closes out not only the song but the record and journey as well, which seems like the most epic departure from this expedition.
Holy Wave‘s fifth LP, Interloper is a psychedelic rock fan’s dream, an absolute blast through time that makes the record feel shorter than it really is and provides the world with yet another lucid trip to experience. Giving us hints of Tame Impala‘s earlier days and gentle, guiding vocal melodies similar to that of Real Estate‘s Martin Courtney, Holy Wave hand us an out-and-out escape from our surroundings and what you may perceive as reality.