Holy Moly & The Crackers are the fiery folk-rockers who mash together unique flavours of folk, americana, rock and indie and have become renowned for their blazing live shows.
They’ve been a fierce live proposition for a decade now and released three studio albums that have seen their songs evolve from festival-friendly folky-stomps to something more widescreen and epic, without losing the raw, punky edge that has won them such a loyal and vocal fanbase.
Obviously we know what happened in 2020 and how that stopped the live music industry in its tracks...But rather than licking their wounds and feeling sorry for themselves, the band decided to use the time to write a very different record, something that really reflected where they are now. The result is Solid Gold (released 17th March 2023), an album that digs deep into the Americana that’s played an ever-greater part in their sound, and is full of ‘big skies and long roads’ (partly as a result of a trip to Austin Texas in the Spring of 2022).
They recorded Solid Gold in regular haunt Blank Studios in Newcastle but took things to a whole new level by adding Dutch producer Wessel Oltheten to the mix. Leaning into their Bob Dylan and Carole King influences, as well as the sleek beats and production of Danger Mouse, and the pounding riff-o-rama of Jack White at his most crazed, Solid Gold could only be made in 2022 but feels like it could have been exhumed any time from 1970. The end result is a rich but streamlined sound, with voices and rhythms to the fore, energetic and punchy (a storming mix from multiple-Grammy winner Vance Powell plays a big part in that).
New single ‘Skyline Drive’ shows another bold evolution in their sound. Combining a driving rock disco riff and a silky-yet-sassy vocal performance, the track stakes a bold claim for the album’s quintessential ‘big sky’ tune with its epic, horizon-wide chorus. Says band co-leader Conrad Bird, “Skyline Drive is a house in the mountains, overlooking the Colorado River deep in the heart of Texas. Tommy (drums), Ruth (vocals) and I were there, staying up late drinking local rye whiskey and looking over the water… When we were kids, listening to Hank Williams and Sister Rosetta and Mississippi John Hurt and Dylan and Cash for the first time, this was the stuff dreams are made of. A few drinks in and the song came tumbling out.”
Solid Gold is an album that’s going to delight old fans and win over new ones, but more importantly it’s an album that lays bare a band at the peak of their powers, absolutely expressing their best and most honest selves.
Words: Lee Fisher
Hot Red has every bit of badass energy you need
NOMINATED FOR LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR 2023