Holy Vessels Album Review

Holy Vessels are a band of south-coast psychedelicists playing roots-flavoured rock & roll music.

Formed in 2009, they swiftly played festivals such as Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Lounge on the Farm and Playgroup and supported the likes of Cloud Control, Boy & Bear and The Maccabees, as well as featuring in last year’s River Rat Pack Tour (previous alumni include Sound of Rum, Mumford & Sons, Bastille & Golden Silvers) and being frequently requested to play Communion shows in both London and Brighton.

In 2011 they spent two weeks in a lambing shed in Oxfordshire recording their debut album ‘Last Orders at The Marshall Arms’ with producer Iain Harvie (ex-Del Amitri, The Maccabees, Eileen Rose). Mixed by Jag Jago (Ghost of a Thousand, Given To The Wild) it was released on the band’s own label, Hello Babe! Records, in October 2012.

Their debut Album “Last Orders At The Marshall Arms” is available now.

Holy Vessels Last Orders At the Marshall Arms

We had a listen of ‘Last Orders at The Marshall Arms’,   and here’s what we thought:

Golden Hair’ bumps along in a deliciously rolling fashion. Hooping over the lumps, this song is like a frolic in the hay with your loved one.  You’ll end up with golden hair!

Springtime Bloom’ has some deeply guttural sounds that ply their wares along a rattling road of percussive charm. Sighing guitars (Joe Heaselgrave ) and a chirpy keyboard (Tommy Heap ) also help keep the mood the sweet side of bitter.  Vocals from Frank Ryan tip towards the melancholy but without becoming glum.

Down By The Wayside’ is a spiralling twisting bluesy number with a plucky piano. This song has a bold plan and a hummable  verse .  It  feels rather special, even though it is steeped in cider pickle and last year’s  rum. The song is sweet, innocent and of ripe vintage complexion.

Then we have the choral drowsiness of ‘The Last Rebel of the War’ followed by the scratchy significance of ‘Queen of Alimony’  with a low twanginess and a thriving RnB vibe. This sounds like Beatles mashed with sliced Stones. Drop this one in a glass and watch it fizz!

Peeping Tom’ is an addled,  full-strength liquor of a tune. Rich, acid and poisonous – especially if taken clean. Uncanny guitars fizz discontent, while the vocals are so tense and so curious that they will make you sit up and take another shot of the hard stuff!   This is a daring song with descanting highlights.

Jaycee’ sounds like an authentic slice of life. A whistle and an roughly picked tune. A roar of drums and a voice that is coughed out. The album ends with ‘ Fever’ – this wrought lament is faltering and limping. Passionate and inconsolable, this reaches deep into your heart and twists your body dry. 

-© Neil_Mach January 2013 –



See the HOLY VESSELS live at The Prince Albert Brighton on Wed 23rd January at the Sea Monsters 3 Festival

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