Holding Onto Sound – The Tempest

© 2011 GC Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

When you think of musical entertainment in Las Vegas, there’s a pretty good (or bad) chance that you’re conjuring up images of Beatles tributes bands, performers in drag, or heaven forbid, Celine Dion. Well, if this describes you, you can extract yourself from the turnip truck right now.

Holding Onto Sound (or HOTS) are stalwarts of the Vegas music scene and over the last eight years have honed their brand of progressive punk rock to a fine edge. The music is filled with intensity and sincerity alongside its punk rock core. The band elicits a comparison to bands like Dead to Me and American Steel, but with enough distinction that you’d not want to pass over one for the other.

The Tempest is the bands newest release and provides three tracks of the aforementioned intense and sincere punk rock. In just about 9 minutes you get a showcase of some of the best efforts for HOTS that I’ve heard to date. If you get a chance, check out their live show. The band plays fairly frequently around the West and of course, Las Vegas.

… and while I know that it is only a 7” with a sparse three tracks, and sure, that probably won’t fill you up, instead, they give you enough to leave you wanting more.

You can pre-order the new release from GC Records.

–Jerry Actually

Get Dead – Letters Home

(c) 2008 Horns Up Records
Rating: ★★★½☆

Have you ever, as an ever tough punk rocker wanted to let you inner-emo out?  But how could you and still  save face with all your extra tough punk rock friends?  San Francisco’s Get Dead holds the answers to your fears.  Their “punkcoustic” anthems reek with their innermost feelings but still come across as cool and nonchalant.  I venture to say that you can safely listen to Letters Home and you will still command the respect of your spike-bedazzled friends and maybe you’ll even show that cute little pale girl all dressed in black a little bit of your own tortured soul (but not too much) Aside all that, Get Dead brings some fine non-electrical punk rock in an anthemic and almost piratical way. If I had to make up some adjectives that you can use to tell your friends about them, I’d go so far as to say that they are both Clashtastic and SwinginUtteriffic.  For those of you back east, you can say that they’re wicked sweet!

–Jerry Actually