Adult Fear

Holy Wave ‎SKU: RVRB-028



After two albums where psychedelic Texans Holy Wave built an impressively warm and enveloping sound that spread from speaker to speaker like melted butter, they change things up a little on Adult Fear. Working with producer Dillon Fernandez of the garage rock band Leather Girls instead of Erik WoffordHoly Wave opt for a tinnier sound -- smaller in scope and more brittle at times -- that comes off like a lo-fi version of their previous work. That may sound like a diss, but it actually works really well here. The uneven mix and less all-encompassing sound add spookiness and unease to the songs, as well as giving some tracks the feel of dusty old private-label psych tracks that have just been unearthed. Interestingly, the band doesn't scale back the arrangements at all to go with the scruffier sound. The opening "Nation in Regress" has chiming 12-string guitar, rollicking electric organ, twinkling keys, and what sounds like a Mellotron lurking in the murk, for example. The rest of the album layers in various vintage keys, all sorts of guitars, supple rhythm section work, and wispy, heartfelt vocals throughout, never skimping on the sonic accoutrements. It's a fascinating set of choices, and Holy Wave back up the sound with the kind of dreamlike and quietly hooky songs they rolled out on their first two records. Like those records, nothing here will make listeners jump out of their chairs on first listen, but songs as sneaky good as "David's Flower," as haltingly pretty as "Dixie Cups," and as insistent as the title track are the work of a first-rate modern psychedelic combo. Holy Wave are certainly that and Adult Fear is their third impressive album in a row, one that's essential to hear for anyone who likes hazy, trippy, and unassumingly captivating psychedelia.

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