Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., July 6, 2012
Holy WaveKnife Hits
Unlike other psych-warriors happy to hide behind sonic debris, Holy Wave thrives on attention. The local quartet's Knife Hits brims with all manner of artsy-fartsy twilight drone, but, as produced by Austin wizard Erik Wofford, is always layered with candied, blue-sky hooks. Frontman Kyle Hager is all stagger and stoned, but he always makes sure to sing like a rock star. Most of the album feels like dense pop with deep intent: "Sleeping" exhibits a gorgeous sunflower jangle with a Nico lilt, while "Brahman" is a warp-speed burst of loose vibes, and "Heat Index 104" feels like a stringent, soul-hollowing ballad. The grooves mostly sound alike, but it's rare when fresh-faced upstarts can pack more perspectives in a single taste than most of the Psych Fest lineup. Holy Wave's execution is off the charts.