LA duo HOLYCHILD were clearly paying attention when pop music history was being taught at school.
'The Shape Of Brat Pop To Come', their debut album, mines the majority of the trends of 21st century chart pop to decent effect. Monolithic EDM drops combine with thundering bass, clattering drums and sugar-coated melodies to immediately put you in mind of the most acerbic moments of noise pop twosome Sleigh Bells.
While the album is made up of original compositions, there's something of another 2000s phenomenon about it: the mash-up. HOLYCHILD's cut-and-paste bastard pop collides sounds and riffs together in a way that can't be ignored. When it works, such as on recent single 'Running Behind' or the (relatively) understated 'Regret You', the melodies and abrasiveness play off one another in something resembling pure pop alchemy.
However, it's not all wall-to-wall classic bangers. Some of the tunes aren't strong enough to stand on their own two feet, meaning the maximalist production thrown at them comes off as HOLYCHILD trying to hide their own shortcomings. There's also something a little too studied and sterile about 'The Shape Of Brat Pop To Come' at times, as if HOLYCHILD are having a private joke that you aren't deemed cool enough to be party to.
It's much more good than bad, though, and it's a refreshing dose of dayglo musical explosion in a world that's too often monochrome. If this truly is 'The Shape of Brat Pop to Come', we can look forward to a bright future.
Words: Joe Rivers
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