Manchester born trio Forty Four Hours will release their EP Only Just Holding On January 20th, 2016 and if you are big into the alternative music scene, make note of this review as this will be an album you will want to look out for in the coming year.
The EP kicks off with “Hold Out” a tune that is beaming with energy right from the start. It’s clear from lead singer Joe Holden’s vocals that the group has a European flavor that makes any American alternative comparison to them still sound fresh. The tune is produced masterfully and has hints of Panic at the Disco! And even some Sting to it. As with all the tracks on this album the lyrics themselves are hard to decipher, and while that might take away a sing a long aspect to these songs it does not take away the listeners ability to still enjoy it.
Still keeping that Panic as the Disco! vibe, with the same in your face approach, “Difficult” offers up a quality that makes the tune sound new. Holden’s vocal delivery is often at a rapid pace that has a bit of a Red Hot Chili Peppers feel, but mixing the two styles together creates something altogether different and refreshing. With the quick, close to rapping approach, it helps propel the song into a new territory that is a welcome treat to the ears.
Switching gears, “Pressure and Sleep” is as close to a ballad as listeners are going to fine on Only Just Holding On, and it’s the one song that has some recognizable lyrics. “All I ever want to do is sleep but I try and stay awake and find my way out of this mess that I made,” Holden sings never losing his edge despite the slightly softer melody. The entire tune has an outer body feeling to it with echo effects and there is a musical breakdown that in structure separates it from the rest of the album which aids in making the track one of the strongest on the EP.
But the best the record has to offer is saved for the last track “Time and Place.” The tune melds all of the previous sounds together to form the most cohesive song, tying the whole album together. It has an energy that just won’t quit and goes back and forth between being frantic in the best way possible and calm. There is also an arena like quality to this song when the chorus kicks in. Holden’s vocals shine the brightest here, as he infuses an even more amped up than usual performance. “Time and Place” is without a doubt the most mainstream track and that may be what makes all the more attractive to listeners.
Be on the lookout for the album when it hits the musical masses, because this is one record you don’t want to miss out on!