That’s where Delicate Holly comes in with their debut EP Love.Hate.Control. It’s a tight offering which is eager to please. Something it manages without too much effort. In spite of their short lifespan, there’s an undeniable chemistry filtering through the playing. The sort that comes from many new bands.
While the band cites influences such as Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood as influences, I hear The Clash (another of their influences) and The Doors. Opening track “Full Body Cast” sounds akin to “Love Me Two Times” as Reuben Lovett’s drawls his way through his lyrics, channelling Joe Strummer and Jim Morrison in equal measure. And whilst those comparisons are poles apart in sound, they combine to make this new sound, both winking as if to say “Yeah! We’re both here!” and neither overshadows the other. With Lovett also taking on bass guitar duties and Toby Jones on drums, it’s this pair that make The Doors comparison undeniable. There’s a brilliant groove lodged in that song.
It’s a very similar sound in “Jaws” before the more punk edge shoulders its way to the front and demands, almost sneeringly, the spotlight with “Rain-O-Rack” before we get mellow with closing epic “Lemon Man”. The juxtaposition of the short, snappy “Rain-O-Rack” before the six and a half minute of “Lemon Man” underlines the versatility of the band and the various influences they’re drawing from.
With guitars coming in the form of Alec Hopkins and Dougie Stokes, they smash together to create jagged melodies. Their work on “Lemon Man” allows them to stretch their muscles while the afore-mentioned “Rain-O-Rack” lets them push the accelerator to the floor and take the lead.
It’s not something I’d usually listen to but Love.Hate.Control is a brilliant debut offering. There’s a special magic surrounding it and it bubbles away in the background, a sly nod to acknowledge that it’s there but it’d rather go unnoticed. Delicate Holly isn’t something you’re likely to hear on your typical rock media offerings. It’s just a bit too tame for them but that’s not the crowd they’re trying to court. From the start, this is about them trying to cut their own path. And they succeed.
Love.Hate.Control is out on 17th August