HOLY NATIONAL VICTIMS - Take This Ride Or You Will Never Know

Holy National Victims - Take This Ride Or You Will Never Know

20 songs
65:23 minutes
***** ****
Winged Skull


Right now I can't think of any other local band that released a double-CD album. To be fair, Holy National Victims could have crammed their 20 songs also on a single disc, but a) it is cool to be the first Luxembourgish band to release a double-album on a label, and b) they didn't want people to have to listen through 20 songs in one take.

It must have been three years ago when the then still very young (nowadays only normally young) Holy National Victims surprised at the Emergenza festival with good if eventually derivative retro rock. So they took three years to refine their formula and are now back with an album that is rather fantastic. Of course they are still anything but original, but since their guitarist is studying to become a sound technician, they gave up all local coloration to their music, and even their singer with the French name Alain sounds as if he came straight from the USA. To make a long story short, HNV released an album with music that certainly can compete on an international level, but they deserve that we take a closer look at their music. If there were "only" 20 retro rock songs, it would be a pointless affair, so they combine different genres like groovy hard rock, psychedelia and acoustic ballads into a caustic mix that sounds like a free-for-all festival with the Black Crowes (The Liquor Story), Led Zeppelin (the acoustic ballads could have been culled from the third LedZep album), King's X and Tea Party (She, Her Pink Spaceship & Me, The Mystic Colours Song). These two songs are the only ones longer than four minutes, and sincerely, there could have been more of that expansive stuff. Add some Beatles choirs and rock'n'roll piano, and you have one of the most expansive Luxembourgish albums released in a long time.

The downside is that I would have preferred half a dozen songs less, which would have made Take This Ride Or You Will Never Know eventually more accessible. Lazy people like me will anyway burn the two CDs onto one disc, but rootsy rock fans can't bypass this album one way or another.

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