CD Review: Holler Wild Rose! – Our Little Hymnal (Backlight Records)

It is sad that most of today’s recording artists are more concerned about being in someone’s iPod or MP3 player than they are about releasing a solid album. When most artists are concerned about selling tracks and not albums as a whole, it is always refreshing to find bands and artists that want to record the music they make for the sole enjoyment of making music and releasing an album, and not releasing a single here or there. One band that seems to want people to enjoy their music as a whole and not just as singles is “Holler, Wild Rose!”

The New Jersey band released their debut album for Backlight Records almost a year ago in 2007. That album, Our Little Hymnal, is exactly the type of album that music lovers is looking for: a great from beginning to end, not just a bunch of singles grouped together for the purpose of being sold off separately to fill a person’s iPod.

Having existed a while under the moniker of another name, Holler, Wild Rose! took their name from one of their song titles. The band opted for this moniker over their original name of “aDive”. When the band went into the studio to create their debut release, the members consisted of John Mosloskie (vocals/guitars/banjo/and more), Ryan Smyth (drums/percussion), Ryan Cheresnick (guitars), Scott Vangenderen (bass), Mike Ortega (keys/guitars/vocals), and Lou D’Elia (Guitars). When the band takes to the stage, the group alternates between 5 and 6 members.

The band’s release, Our Little Hymnal, is not only a great album; it’s one of those releases that should be played from beginning to end. Put the CD in your player, and just let the music envelope you. Some of the songs are great modern rock songs; some songs however, like Sun Vines, bring to mind visions of musicians like Donovan. In fact, Sun Vines could easily have been written during the “summer of love”.
One noticeable difference between Holler, Wild Rose!’s Our Little Hymnal and other releases by other bands that are around today is that Holler, Wild Rose! took the time to make the songs on the album fit together. Whether it is because the themes that run through the album, or because the songs blend together with the help of selahs (a biblical term that has to do with preparing the choir to raise their voices), most of the album segues from one song to another, something that helps keep the listener’s attention throughout the entire length of the CD.

Our Little Hymnal, the 2007 debut release from Holler, Wild Rose!, is 12 tracks of music that appear to have been written as a single album, and not as individual singles for downloading. With the use of sound effects and segues; the release is an effortless listening experience… and one hell of an album, all the way around.
For more information on the band, Holler Wild Rose can be found on the Internet at www.hollerwildrose.com. You can also find the band on MySpace at www.myspace.com/hollerwildrose. The label for the band can be found at www.backlightrecords.com.

Matheson