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Holopaw 

Quit +/or Fight

Wednesday, Aug 17 2005
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The six members of Holopaw live in four different cities, occasionally falling into one another's lives to record an album or tour. That long-distance relationship imbued the band's first album with a sort of melancholy, twangy wanderlust, a mood that carries over, with upgrades, to Holopaw's second full-length. The instrumental flourishes on Quit +/or Fight feel brilliantly disjointed, as if the tapes were left to roll while musicians wandered in and out of both town and studio adding contributions -- a clicketyclack bossa nova whisper on "3 Shy Cubs," a childish organ on "Little Shaver," a cryptic lyric like "Swallowed too much of the ocean" on "Holiday." But while Holopaw's debut sounded like a pleasant altcountry album with some electronic accents, Quit +/or Fight is characterized by more mature songwriting and an indulgent sound-effects orchestra. The band's signature atmosphere shines on one of the strongest tracks, "Velveteen (All Is Bright)," on which frontman Jon Orth ekes out a gentle, wintry ballad that erupts into a fit of growling metallic bass and cymbal crashes, which exit as abruptly as they entered. The outburst, like the album, is spontaneous in the best possible way.

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Nancy Einhart

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