Holz – “Demo I” Cassette (2018)

I went over to my little local used joint Vortex the other day to get some store credit out of our recent DVD purge.  As Darren was going through the half dozen records I was going to take in trade, I saw this demo tape sitting on a shelf next to the register.  “What’s the story with this?”, I asked.  “Oh, they’re a local band,” Darren replied, “from Des Moines.”  I asked about the style.  “Well.  They’re sort of…. they’re sort of industrial.  Yeah, I guess that’s the best word for it.”


Des Moines is about 20 minutes south of Seattle, much of it bordering Puget Sound and offering some amazing views.  It’s also right in the flight pattern of nearby Seatac Airport, meaning that a lot of the property values aren’t so hot because of the noise – if your approach takes you south to north, you fly right over a lot of Des Moines neighborhoods at really low altitude, which has to suck if you live down there.  Should we expect power industrial to come out of Des Moines?  Perhaps.


Demo I sounds like it’s primarily played on instruments as opposed to electronics.  While I love me some electro-industrial, sometimes it comes across as overly clean-sounding and sterile despite its best attempts to get down and dirty.  That’s not a problem for Holz.  It’s thick and grimy with that used motor oil viscosity, the kind that has some metal shavings in it from the motor friction, thickly slick yet still abrasive.  The guitars are raw and unforgiving, gear-grinding like part of some giant motor.  Percussion alternates between deep bass and snappy snares (especially on “Hollow”), leaving the bass guitar to push the flow and provide the foundation for the tracks.  The vocals have an almost black metal growl to them, low and raspy.  This is some killer stuff.  If it reminds me of anything, it’s like an edgier version of early Tad.  And coming from me, that’s high praise.

You should definitely go listen to these guys on their Bandcamp page HERE.  These four tracks are a bargain at twice the price.  The cassette release is super-limited in a hand-numbered edition of 15 copies, so not sure how you’ll be able to track one of those down – maybe reach out to the band via email.  As for me, I’m bookmarking that page, because I need to keep tabs on what these guys are up to next.

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