Published Jun 06, 2019When Hollerado emerged more than a decade ago, part of their appeal was they way they delivered giant-sized power-pop hooks without seeming to take themselves particularly seriously. Case in point: their 2010 debut, Record in a Bag, was released in a plastic ziplock bag and featured lyrics that were as silly as they were charming.
A lot has changed. On Retaliation Vacation, Hollerado are unflinchingly sentimental: the album opens with an acoustic ballad about oppressive religious doctrines ("Straight to Hell"); features a children's choir on a song about school shootings ("Speechless"); and contains a very existential take on a love song ("Time on Earth"). All this comes wrapped up in the loud guitars and life-affirming choruses fans have come to expect from Hollerado.
Coming from a new band, this level of earnestness might be a bit much, but considering that Hollerado have said that this is their last album, the stakes feel appropriately high: this is their swan song, and they're going out with a message of love and positivity.
Retaliation Vacation shows just how much these industry vets have grown up, and acts as a big-hearted farewell statement from these reformed jokesters. (Royal Mountain Records)