This lot from Cologne have definitely heard a few My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Cure records in their time, yet Holygram go for an overall shoegaze shimmer on their tunes, giving each one an overall feel of hazy guitar tones. Recorded in Cologne’s Amen Studios, the band’s debut is awash with that early 90’s British indie shoegazey sound but also blending in influences from the early 80’s goth and post punk scene too. They supported Liverpudlian electronic legends O.M.D. on tour last year, and although Holygram’s sound isn’t overladen with beats and synths, it’s easy to see how their sound could appeal to an O.M.D. crowd, as they do have subtle electronica blended intertwining their hazy ambience too.

Title track ‘Modern Cults’ barges out of the speakers like Sisters Of Mercy or a more psychedelic Chameleons, full of reverb guitar and echo laden vocals which weave in and out of each other’s path. ‘A Faction’ has a huge sound with cavernous spaces and melodramatic chords whereas ‘Signals’ has a sound which is more uplifting but still just as expansive in its soundscapes with guitar riffs whirling around each other.

‘Hideaway’ is a slow builder of a tune which creeps in sounding like a slower version of White Lies and is one if the best songs on here. ‘Still Here’ keeps up the goth meets shoegaze feel with its fast paced drums, synths and swirling guitars followed by ‘She’s Like The Sun’ with echo laden vocals and the overall feel reminiscent of the much underrated N.Y. band Secret Machines crossed with Slowdive. ‘Distant Light’ is another standout track with thunderous drums and synths and is another of the best songs on the album with its waves of guitar feedback and riffs creating a mountainous sound. Ending with the beautifully slow ‘1997’ resembling early New Order with echo laden basslines leading the way before slow synths and drumbeats crawl in, Holygram’s debut is a feedback drenched treat.

Holygram: Modern Cults – Out Now (Cleopatra Records).


From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.