The Holidays – The Holidays

The Holidays consists of four students from Sydney University who formed the band in 2006, seemingly on a whim. They started off “making random noises and playing bad covers,” explains singer Simon Jones. The following two years were filled with sporadic performances and academic disintegration. Now that The Holidays have given up on their degrees, they’re able to focus more on the music.

In the short time they’ve been around, The Holidays have had the chance to tour with the likes of Ben Kweller and The Wombats. Their first single Holiday was picked up by Triple J, and Telephone got airplay on the Los Angeles station Indie 103.1.

The band claims to avoid run-of-the-mill music, and have made conscious effort to branch out their style. Perhaps as a result, The Holidays are reminiscent of about 20 bands at once – a happier version of Abandoned Pools, an anti-hipster version of The Strokes, a more experimental Oasis, an updated Ocean Colour Scene, etc. etc. ad nauseam. They grab a wide mix of influences, all along the (long-listed) indie/alt/garage/pop/trad rock line, and put it together in a way that is unique yet familiar.

Holiday is an appropriately buoyant opener to the five-track, self-titled debut, offering up the high spirited pop rock sounds of weekend getaways and coastal cruises. The easy, inoffensive, straightforward jangle carries throughout the album. One thing The Holidays certainly have is a consistent grasp of tone, which lends to the unified final product.

Planes is downright infectious, and the rockiest moment on album. Jones walks a fine line of whiney vocals, sometimes reminiscent of Liam Gallagher. The Lovers offers up a Cardigans style sound worthy of some serious head-bopping. Funny that the band claims it’s “a slightly darker detour,” given how light it actually sounds.

The internationally credited track Telephone begs you to move, in a very Britpop kind of way. The guitars are a solid blend: Matt Costa’s Whiskey and Wine meets Arctic Monkey’s I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor.

The Holidays ends with The Werewolf You Become, and a slightly moodier style. Jones falters a little in the song’s emotive opening moments, but the music saves itself when the band kicks back into high gear for the finish.

This is an album that grows on you with each listen. Let The Holidays bring you under their umbrella of good cheer and good natured rock. It’s not altogether new, and it’s not altogether original, but somehow The Holidays make it their own, and it will probably make you smile.