Articles tagged with Hollerado

Hollerado – “So It Goes”

I recently submitted my ballot for Canada’s music video award the Prism Prize. At the top of the list was the fantastic “So It Goes” by Hollerado from last year’s White Paint. It’s not so much a music video as it is a short film about singer Menno Versteeg’s grandfather and his incredible survival during World War II. It’s a gripping clip.

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Hollerado – “Pick Me Up”

My life has included a lot of Hollerado lately. I interviewed singer Menno Versteeg for Exclaim!, and reviewed the band as part of a show with Billy Talent and Sum 41 for the Georgia Straight.

The new album, White Paint, is one of the year’s best albums so far. Below is the new single “Pick Me Up.”

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Hollerado – “Good Day at the Races”

Those Hollerado dudes have been doing well for themselves, despite not releasing a new album in a couple of years. They’ve got a new single called “Good Day at the Races.” Go to Exclaim! to read my story about it (and go here to learn about my role in making their “Meet the Mayor” tour actually happen).

Below you can watch the video for “Good Day at the Races,” which shows the guys racing ostriches. For real. The song introduces just a hint of art rock quirk into the band’s usual powerpop sound.

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Found them in your sister’s sneakers

Can't believe these guys don't have press shots yet
Since the last time I wrote about Hollerado, the band has been kicking ass—mostly thanks to that killer new “Americanarama” video. Here’s my favourite track from last year’s Record in a Bag, “Fake Drugs.” While the group often employs a shock and awe approach to powerpop, this one has a slightly more delicate approach, with bleary tremolo guitar licks and seductively dead-eyed backing vocals.

This song has the weirdest video.

I recently interviewed the band for Exclaim! about the upcoming EP Margaritaville 2: The Reckoning (no kidding).

MP3: “Fake Drugs”
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Smoking her last cigarette

$250,000 richer, but Hollerado still won't splurge for a photographer
Hollerado‘s Record in a Bag has been rocking my iPod for the past year, ever since the band released it as free download in January 2009. Now, the album will finally be able to rock my turntable as well, since the group will be releasing it in physical formats on January 9.

I’m guessing this release has something to do with the fact that the band recently won $250,000 in a battle of the bands contest (which I wrote a news story about for Exclaim!). The band’s rapidly-growing profile is boosted by its outrageous touring schedule, which has included a South American jaunt plus two trips to China. Of course It also helps that Record in a Bag is one of the best power pop albums I’ve ever heard.

Click below to download the new single “Juliette,” which is propelled by buoyant electric riffs and an unforgettable chorus that will be your stuck in your head for a week. Which is pretty much the same thing you could say about any track on Record in a Bag.

Click here to watch the video for “Juliette.” Head over to the Tyee to read the profile I wrote on Hollerado back in the summer.

MP3: “Juliette”
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Hollerado’s new album still free, still kicks ass

The guys in Hollerado certainly have a flair for the dramatic: earlier this year, they released their (totally awesome) debut album, Record in a Bag, as a free download from their website. Then in February, they played a show every day of the month, rotating between the same seven venues (meaning the circuit was repeated four times). But their latest stunt is the craziest yet: at the end of this month, the band is playing a series of shows in China, starting in Beijing and ending in Shenzhen. It’s a crazy move for a group that is still unsigned, and hasn’t even done a cross-country tour since releasing its album. Still, I guess Hollerado is hoping to break into the great untapped Chinese indie rock market (that’s one 1.3 billion potential fans).

The band doesn’t have anything new in terms of recorded material, but I recently discovered the video for “Americanarama,” one of the catchiest tunes on Record in a Bag (and that’s saying something). The clip was actually shot long before the release of the album, and parodies the homogenized hypersexuality of American Apparel. The band is set up amid piles of boxes in a clothing factory, while revealingly dressed hipsters dance on top of tables. Dave Foley (of Kids in the Hall fame) stars, delivering a hysterical performance as the sleazy, sex-obsessed boss. The video ends with the guys stripping down to their Y-fronts for a photo session of their own.

Download: Record in a Bag
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Hollerado’s new album is free, and it kicks ass

When Hollerado first began giving away demos at shows, the band couldn’t afford proper packaging, so they simply placed a CD-R in a Ziploc bag and called it Demo in a Bag. Now, the quartet has recorded a full-length, but its humble means have remained the same – hence the album’s goofy-but-appropriate title, Record in a Bag.

If there’s one lesson you can take away from the album’s title, it’s this: Hollerado takes itself less seriously than any band in the entire world. Look no further than the opening track, a ridiculous little ditty called “Hollerado Land,” written and performed by the band’s friend Sam. It was recorded in what sounds like a noisy room full of people, and features slurred vocals and badly botched guitar riffs; in short, it’s the sloppiest recording to be made public since Beck’s earliest releases (think Golden Feelings). As weird as it is that the band doesn’t even appear on the opening track of its debut album, it’s the perfect introduction to Record in a Bag, setting a relaxed party vibe that resonates throughout the entire 12-track collection, even during the band’s tightest, most focused songs.

Hollerado plays noisy garage rock, but the group sets itself apart from the majority of today’s indie landscape by drawing heavily from ’70s riff-rock. Of course, the only way to get away with ’70s bombast these days is to do it with a sense of irony, and Hollerado has a knack for being humourous without making the music sound frivolous or disposable. Consider a song such as “Got to Lose,” which pairs serious teachings (“You’ve got to lose love if you want to find love”) with hilariously sordid imagery (“There was a man with a monocle eating pineapple outside / He offered me to trade his bike for head…what?”)

In that sense, the most apt comparison when describing Hollerado is Weezer, more in terms of the groups’ shared spirit than a stylistic similarity. Like Rivers Cuomo, Hollerado sounds like it was weaned on a diet of KISS and Cheap Trick, but the band’s unflagging wit and self-awareness prevents it from ever sounding like a lame ’70s retread. And while Record in a Bag delivers plenty of moments of power-pop perfection (see the gorgeous chorus harmonies in “Fake Drugs”), Hollerado’s roots influence ensures that the group will never be pinned as a Weezer knock-off. “Hard Love” could easily be a full-fledged country song if only the guitars weren’t so noisy, and “On My Own” is classic roadtrip-folk (“You bring granola bars / I’ll bring some bags to put the wrappers in”). Vocalist Menno Versteeg has the ability to sound simultaneously tuneful and totally unhinged, and his husky shout falls somewhere in between Jeff Tweedy and Joe Strummer.

Saying that Record in a Bag sounds like a party is not a metaphor – the album contains interludes of drunken, group-sung a cappella (“Reno Chunk”), as well as background noises that suggest the group might have held an in-studio kegger during its recording sessions. It’s always a pleasure to listen to a band that’s having this much fun, but what really sets Hollerado apart is the sharpness and complexity of its songwriting. Songs don’t just have one hook, but several, meaning that each track sounds like its bursting at the seams with ideas. “Walking on the Sea” begins with a Pixies-inspired surf riff, and its verses contain three separate sections, any of which would be catchy enough to serve as a chorus for a lesser band; then, just when you think its all over, it finishes with 30 seconds of crashing waves, whistling, and Hawaiian guitar. “Do the Doot Da Doot Doo” has such a intricate structure that it’s almost exhausting to listen to; it feels like it lasts much longer than its 4:44 runtime, not because its boring, but because you can’t believe they fit so much into less than five minutes.

All this, and I haven’t even told you the best part – the band is offering Record in a Bag as a free download from its website. Screw the Radiohead model – it’s absolutely insane that a record this good can be given away for nothing. Hollerado’s feel-good vibes will only sound better come summer, so this is going to be one to watch out for in the coming months.

mp3: Record in a Bag
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