Right out of the box on the opening track Switchblade, lead vocalist/guitarist Brenton Dean’s deliberately-casual vocal drawl as he sings “Sitting in the back seat, sucking on a switchblade” is remarkably Beck-like. Those vocals are punctuated by pulsating, spacey electronic effects and bursts of lead guitar. The Beck/QOTSA influence is undeniable.
Blind blindsides the listener with a funky, swirling keyboard/guitar/vocal bridge.
Sparkle Sparkle in its entirety showcases the fiercely indie vibe of Holy White Hounds. They take delight in turning things upside down and inside out. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they zig when you would expect them to zag. (Even their album cover is freaky—is that hot dogs or Cheetos scattered on the floor?) This is a band would be right at home playing gigs in a college-town boozy dive bar.
Ghost Arm offers a twist on the typical relationship song with a twangy, surf-like guitar riff against the chorus of “I can feel you scratching my back, I can feel you breaking my neck, I can feel you rubbing my heart, ghost arm ghost arm ghost arm!”
Dean’s falsetto on the chorus of In Your Skin are very reminiscent of The Dark, another genre-bending band.
Black Lust starts with a disjointed cacophony of noise, and then develops into probably the most straight-ahead, “accessible” rock song.
This is a promising album from a delightfully unpredictable band. If you’re a little off-center yourself, if you enjoy discovering cool unknown bands before they pop up on everyone else’s radar then you should definitely grab a copy of Sparkle Sparkle.