Eventually, long holidays can mutate into a trial, with attendant tribulations: logistical dramas, disgruntled fellow travellers and a general frustration with life on the road. Thankfully, there’s none of the latter with this Long Holiday.
Listening to Greetings From Long Holiday transports me back to a time a couple of decades ago when holidays were devoid of the administrative and domestic complexities that come with getting older. It’s a time when L7, Babes In Toyland, Nirvana and Soundgarden defined the musical zeitgeist, when the flannelette shirt was a fashion icon and political agnosticism was an ideological statement.
You can feel that slacker punk thing all through ‘Hate Potion No.8’, replete with sharp riffs to spit abuse over anyone caught in the band’s way; ‘She Ain’t Dead (But You Are)’ builds to a crescendo, like a spurned lover presenting a case of emotional assault. ‘Hit Machine’ is a pop song to die for – with a hint of Bo Diddley, The Yardbirds and David Bowie somewhere in the mix – and ‘Garden Of Evil’ is all thrashing heads and Pixies guitar runs.
‘Army Of One’ is solitude in its ideal sludgy Pacific North-West guise, ‘Red Eye’ stumbles through a morning after the night before with bleary eyes and a frontal lobe crushing set of riffs. ‘Salt’ is soft to the touch, and light to the ear; this is the holiday to which the band must be referring.
But it’s over soon enough, and ‘Blood From A Stone’ returns to a basic linear rock route, before ‘Cola Pop’ finds solace in the pop corners of Olympia. The darkness of ‘Silver’ is compelling, the thrash, grind and grunge of ‘Round Again’ is arresting and ‘Your World’ is the logical link between The Runaways and Lita Ford’s ‘Queen Of Metal’ days. With that, the holiday is finished, but the good memories remain.
BY PATRICK EMERY