BY JAMES MCQUISTON MAY 30, 2015 FEATURES, MUSIC REVIEWS
The Grave is a powerful introduction to Cincinnati’s Royal Holland’s latest effort, Volume Two: Flamingo. There are hints of Radiohead, Bright Eyes, and even the dust-swept singer-songwriters of era past. What results with this introductory salvo is something that is immersive, compelling, and will have listeners sitting on the edges of their seats until the titular track on Flamingo begins. The funkier sound of Flamingo showcases a duality to Royal Holland’s music – the different elements (synth, guitars, vocals, and drums) are able to shine apart and as part of a cohesive entity. The multi-layered approach that is taken during this cut allows for this track to be incredibly deep while having a radio-ready sound that should garner heavy rotation.
Holy Moses has a haunting style to it that showcases new elements (a tambourine) and a different tack taken by Royal Holland. There is an intelligent usage of silence during this composition, ensuring that the musical arrangements are provided with a greater focus. The slightly-reedy quality of the vocals here are reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Lucero, telling more of a story in a stretched-out note than artists would be able to over the course of a song.
The one-two shot of Polaroid Blues and These Mundane Lives end this EP on a strong note. The desire of the band to break down timing conventions make for tracks that are distinctly different than the typical fare heard on the radio as the tremendous personality exhibited by each member exhorts anyone in earshot to listen in. Make sure to purchase Volume Two: Flamingo when it is released later this spring, and keep an eye on the act’s social media for information regarding live dates and new tracks.
Top Tracks: These Mundane Lives, The Grave
Royal Holland Volume Two: Flamingo CD Review / 2015 Self / 5 Tracks / soundcloud.com/royalholland / royalhollandsongs.com/ / www.facebook.com/pages/Royal-Holland/423368774447588?ref=hl#