illicitor – self-titled


Illicitor is a 3 piece punk/hardcore band born out of the ashes of prolific Las Vegas favorites: Holding Onto Sound. Their debut album arrived December 2017.

I was somewhat familiar with Holding Onto Sound (HOTS). I spent a little time listening to their music, an interview, and a review. I have also seen them perform live in the past, so I was excited to hear about illicitor. Stripped down 3-piece punk rock born from some familiar faces and voice. Thus far the self-titled debut does not disappoint.

The core of the nine tracks are uptempo punk rock with some hardcore aggression. There are some departures from the formula with track 4. The Body and The Dirt with its acoustic guitar and vocal intro, climbing into full arrangement and eventual insistence on a complete sonic uprising. For a trio, the soundscape is quite full. Studio magic goes a long way, but then again so does competent musicianship, none of which are in short supply on this release.

The band ticks a lot of boxes on my list of favorite rock and roll features: fast paced, trio, clear vocals, short tracks with a bit of grit. If you’re of a similar mind, and I know that you are, check out illicitor. I have no doubt that you will dig the hell out of them.

Nothing on the album gives me cause to be overly critical, but nothing can be completely perfect I suppose. There is a bit of psychedelic guitar noodling that I could probably live without, but overall a solid debut from Las Vegas’ illicitor.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Members:
Zabi Naqshband – bass, vocals
Bob Gates – guitar, vocals
Micah Malcolm – drums


(Photo by Aaron Mattern)

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