Following the release of their widely successful Record in a Bag in 2009 and subsequent extensive tour schedule, indie-rockers Hollerado present their latest offering, White Paint, to much anticipation in the Canadian music circuit.
The band has come to be known for their do-it-yourself approach and endearing touches on everything they call their own, including a hand-drawn website, an album filled with confetti and other goodies, a Twitter that churns out horse facts and an obsession with nachos.
Formed in 2007 and originally from the town of Manotick, Ontario, the band is made up of four best friends since childhood: Menno Versteeg (vocals, guitar), Nixon Boyd (guitar, vocals), Dean Baxter (bass) and Jake Boyd (drums). White Paint was put out on their own Royal Mountain Records, which is also home to the Toronto-based Topanga.
White Paint shows a band that is all-grown up but still knows their sound. Right from the start of the opening track, “Wonder, Velocity, Charlie and Me,” things are distinctly Hollerado-esque with spaceship samples and soaring group vocals proclaiming the vastness of the world. Both guitarists’ work on hooks is evident through the entire album.
“Lonesome George” stands out as an example of the band’s fine storytelling work, recounting the last days of the only remaining Pinta Island tortoise. (The track was previewed when the real Lonesome George passed away.) The use of narrative is also present on “I Want My Medicine,” an ode to a man who painfully sells his record collection to fund pharmaceuticals in the hope that he will live another day.
A favourite for me on the record is “So It Goes,” a high-energy track Versteeg wrote about his grandfather’s experience during WWII. Captured by Germans, he claimed to be a horse doctor even though he knew nothing about the trade. He would either hope the horses recovered on their own or proclaim they were beyond saving. Upon being found out, his life was spared by a sympathetic German soldier for whom he later testified at Nuremberg regarding his kindness. Such stories often accompany new tracks throughout Hollerado’s live show.
Despite the new lyrical maturity, White Paint is still musically fun and danceable. Guitars soar and charge through the choruses, and solos are pulled out on a few tracks. A special mention goes to the rhythm section of drummer Jake Boyd and bassist Dean Baxter for providing a fresh foundation to build on. White Paint is raw in the right ways but solid enough for a sophomore release. This is a band that loves what they do.
By: :Lucas Canzona