Online since August 2002

Close to perfect

Reviewed April 2006

By This Holiday Life

Dare to Dream Records: 2006

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing the band's Web site.

Combining hook-rich melodies made for the radio, confident performance and more musical talent than a local band has a right to possess, This Holiday Life seems poised to follow Blink-182, Jewel and Switchfoot out of San Diego County and onto the national stage.

Playing an instantly likeable moody, melodic indie rock, This Holiday Life's new album, "Friction" is a near-perfect bit of pop music. Many a veteran "superstar" band would trade its latest effort for the master tapes from the sessions that yielded this gem. Rich vocal harmonies, jangling guitar leads, an uptempo beat and narcotic themes you can't get out of your head fill out this extraordinary release.

The album leads off strongly with "Don't Stand Up," as pretty a little song as you could want – a sure-fire hit that has only to be discovered by the charts. It's followed by "Digital," another perfectly written, perfectly arranged, perfectly recorded tune with a refrain so utterly crystalline beautiful it is probably destined to end up hawking bad beer or toiletry items in 20 years' time. Okay, any band can write two really strong songs, no? But this goes on song after song, with not a single bit of filler – 14 tracks in all.

There are no guarantees in life; a few years ago, an Orange County band name of Outerstar issued a similarly wonderful album that went nowhere, and they've released nothing since.

So here's hoping, from a purely selfish standpoint, that some big-shot record company exec hears this CD, signs the band to a lucrative contract, and This Holiday Life spends the next couple of decades producing great music.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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