Holly Would... If Word Got Out (2012)

A few days ago, I received an email from someone who was requesting me to review something slightly different than what we usually review on MGR. Holly Would..., a pop/rock quartet from Newport News, Virginia, was the name of the band that popped up as a subject in my inbox. I was a bit hesitant to give their new album entitled If Word Got Out a listen, but I'm glad that I finally got around to it.

The album opens with the incredibly catchy line "And this is bad news/Welcome to these two-way streets/I hope you know what you're getting into" on "Newport". The track picks up a little bit, but If Word Got Out really takes off on the fun funk-rock song "Ida" and the fairly upbeat "The Nature Boy". The aforementioned tracks are two of the strongest on the album and they both contain an undeniably catchy chorus.

"Debauchery" and "xjuliet" are up next. "Debauchery" has a 70s/80s rock feel to it and it's one of the weaker tracks on the album. "xjuliet" is much stronger with solid guitar leads that are also a bit odd (if that makes sense). After "xjuliet" is one of the slowest tracks on the album, "Parliament". While it is much slower-paced than the majority of the album, this will be a favourite for many people because of its impressive guitar leads, catchy chorus, and calming verses. The only gripe that I have with "Parliament" is that it doesn't sound very "full" during the chorus. It would certainly benefit from having more instrumental oomph.

The seventh track, "Demons", sounds like a completely different band. Right from the start, the instruments put off a different vibe. You're then greeted with hip-hop/rap vocals. I am notoriously known for strongly disliking the majority of hip-hop and rap, but Holly Would... managed to pull it off very well on "Demons" and I enjoyed the rapping parts even more the chorus which features the catchy vocals that I have mentioned several times, and I will continue to do so because they are worth mentioning more than once.

The tracks that follow "Demons", "Señorita" and "Midget", become a bit boring at times but they're still very solid. "Señorita" starts off slow and there is barely any instrumental aspect of worth mention until the chorus. Similarly, "Midget" is fairly bland during the verses, aside from the groovy bassline.  "Midget" picks up some steam when the lyric "Found out that money can buy almost anything" kickstarts another spectacular chorus.

"Last Call" opens with powerful strumming which transitions into a rock song with a touch of Latin swing. "Last Call" is another one of the strongest tracks, but my absolute favourite is the eleventh track, "Five Easy Steps To Breaking Hearts And Other Body Parts". "Five Easy Steps To Breaking Hearts And Other Body Parts" is one of the fastest tracks on the album and it reminded me of Panic! At The Disco and You Me At Six, two pop punk/rock bands that I have a soft spot for. The final track, "Delusions Of Grandeur", closes out the album nicely but it drags on a bit too much before it finally reaches that perfect closing point.

After a few listens, I started to enjoy If Word Got Out even more than I initially did. Holly Would... has incorporated several genres - the most prevalent being rock and pop with hints of punk - on this nearly 50-minute album, and because of that, they avoided the issue of having any songs that sound remotely similar.

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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