The Sum of Our Parts
Holy Rolemodel is a skate-punk band from California that flirts with rockabilly and early ’90s alternative rock. While the melodies are straight out of the Bad Religion playbook, the vocal stylings of Aaron Browe hint at a broader musical upbringing that may have included more than a few Jawbreaker, Dead Kennedys, and Modest Mouse albums. It’s an enticing combination, one that works more often than not, but still The Sum of Our Parts doesn’t quite achieve “classic album” status.
The opening notes of “Bleed America” come out of the darkness of what sounds like chanting nuns, and nails down all the points a good melodic punk song should deliver. If these were the days of seven-inch singles, this would be the song to press. Coupled with their cover of The Misfits’ “Skulls,” this would be an album to win over angry teenage boys all across the land. Ironically, these two are the first and last songs on the album.
The rest of the album has a few moments of promise. “Kleenex,” with the dual vocals of Browe and an unnamed angel of a girl, is a moment of pop-punk bliss that feels very Pixies-like. “Blister” dares to slow the pace without losing its punch.
The secret ingredient that makes Holy Rolemodel as a band work on a level that goes beyond the hundreds of other punk bands that hail from the edge of the Pacific ocean: the inclusion of the female vocals that act as a soft balance to Browe’s rough edges. It’s this sweet and salty element that drove the music home for me, even when the songs weren’t quite up to par. Unfortunately, a quick look at the band’s MySpace page reveals that a lineup change has pulled the female vocals right out of the band. Unless one of the other three dudes pictured on their profile can sing falsetto, the femininity has been ripped from Holy Rolemodel, and that’s a shame.
Holy Rolemodel: www.holyrolemodel.com