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Quit +/or Fight

Wednesday, Aug 17 2005
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.

About The Author

Nancy Einhart


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