Newcastle quartet Holding Out have honed an exciting sound that oozes pure aggression with punky vocals and instrumentals, yet also dabbles in the occasional more melodic moment. The result is, in their words, “unpredictable, shouty and fun” – which should have you hooked already.
Having started life as frontman Ellis Paul’s solo acoustic project back in the summer of 2016, Holding Out have swiftly evolved into something much more hard-hitting with the addition of Tomm Money (bass and vocals), Jason Toward (guitar and vocals) and Ryan Hubbard (drums).
The band released their second EP FED.UP last month, on which they tell us to “expect the unexpected.” As Ellis expands: “I feel there’s something for everybody. We’ve really developed our sound from our first EP as our musical tastes have matured and our songwriting styles have come together. We’ve got some heavy stuff on there, some melodic stuff, breakdowns, we even have an acoustic number which may be my favourite track on the EP.”
The EP’s opener Sleeper begins with a synth noise that’s gradually joined by drums then drawn-out guitar chords, then bursts into life with a cool high-pitched spinning guitar lick over booming chords. Big shouted vocals come in over lively guitars as this exciting opening track moves into hyperdrive, then drops into a contrasting chorus of laid-back vocals. Check it out in the video below:
There’s no gradual build-up in second track With Enemies Like These, which jumps straight into driving guitar chords and pounding drums that continue through an energetic punky verse. More shouty vocals eventually feed into a frantic guitar solo over fun rocky chords, then the pace drops down and builds back into a final blast of the chorus.
And the fun energetic punkiness just keeps on coming in the brilliantly titled Posh Adam, which Ellis tells us is heavily influenced by Tomm’s love for bands like Royal Blood. A fairly laid-back verse explodes into life with a wild chorus with shouted vocals and cool effects going on in the background, then a big smash of noise drops into another chilled verse, eventually closes out with a noisy outro. Check it out in the stream below:
And if angsty punk is your thing, then you’ll also love penultimate track Machines, which opens with fun guitars that feed into an edgy opening verse and a shoutalong chorus, followed by a winding fast-paced guitar solo.
They mix things up to close, with the acoustic – but still shouty – Behind The Eyes, which I guarantee you’ll struggle not to sing, or rather shout, along to.
Fun is very much the operative word when it comes to this EP and Holding Out generally, and describing the band’s sound, Ellis says: “We are a dumpster fire of everything you hate about music. Songwriting is a very personal experience for me, and I don’t feel there’s a whole lot I can say that won’t come across as massively cliched. I consider myself an introverted person, a lot of our lyrics and aggression in our music comes from that need to lash out and scream about how we’re feeling, be this political/social issues or more personal feelings and emotions.”
Influence-wise it’s easy to hear elements of the likes of Rise Against, Against Me! and Enter Shikari, all of whom Ellis tells us have shaped his writing style both melodically and lyrically. Jason’s classic rock influence explains the cheeky face-melting solos that pop up now and again, while drummer Ryan’s love for heavier music like Counterparts and Chelsea Grin is apparent throughout.
The band played their first ever tour back in December, and Ellis added: “We’re always happy to meet new fans so feel free to drop by one of our shows and say hi and discuss how bad we are at answering interview questions.”