After writing a review for their second album a while ago, I was so curious to hear the first record by The Holdout, an emo/indie band from Portland, Oregon. I fell in love with the sound of this trio almost instantly. Each composition included on that record was top-notch, in my opinion. Their debut, The Things That Brought Us Here, was released nearly four years ago, but it still stands out with its quality. That’s the first impression I got when I listened to this record, but of course, there were more surprises along the way.
The Things That Brought Us Here represents the starting point of a group consisting of experienced musicians who played in various bands of the same musical preferences before. For those who have missed my previous review about their second album, The Holdout nurture such an ear-appealing sound based upon emo and indie music, but you may also stumble upon some characteristics of post-hardcore, punk rock, and grunge. The Things That Brought Us Here probably showcases how The Holdout established their sound by combining all the beforementioned genres into a colossal slab of harmonious noise. This versatile sonic output gives them many options to express emotions and share their messages with like-minded listeners.
Each composition offers profoundly complex chord progressions, melodies, harmonies, and other sonic delicacies delivered by generously distorted guitars. The bass guitar acts as more than necessary support to the beforementioned maneuvers by serving equally complex low-end tones. Still, this instrument is also responsible for the sheer dynamics of the band alongside excellent drumming performance. The drummer holds these songs in line with the flawlessly accentuated rhythmic sequences, various acrobatics over cymbals and fills. Perhaps The Holdout bursts with excellent melodies, but there is also the aggressive side of the band, which shines through the thick layers of ear-appealing sound. Their orchestrations combine only the best elements of the abovementioned music genres, and these experienced musicians thoroughly planned each aspect of their debut full-length release. The Things That Brought Us Here is still available on vinyl record, so head over to their Bandcamp page for more information about ordering.