Tuesday Jan 16
Review: The Holdup – Still Gold

The Holdup – Still Gold
Track Listing:
1.) Alone with You
2.) One More Day
3.) Ruin Love
4.) The Girls
5.) Still the Same
6.) Move On
7.) Whatever
8.) Miss You
9.) Looks is Deceiving
10.) The Drugs
11.) Glad to be Home
12.) The Drugs (CS)
13.) Hunnies and Hustlas Shout Outs

The Pier Album Rating:

Record Label: Dub Rock Records
Release Date: April 26th, 2011

Group Background:
The Holdup formed in early 2008 when drummer Danny Flores and lead vocalist Mike Garmany recruited local bassist Kyle Christensen. They began writing songs and performing small local venues around town. It wasn’t long before a fanbase gathered and the request for an album began to spread. Not having any recorded material the band decided it was time to hit the studio to record their first EP. Later that Year, the band recruited Clev Stiles as DJ/Band Manager, the chemistry and fit were undeniable and The Holdup was finally complete.

The Holdup released their first EP in the summer of 2008, and instantly sold a thousand copies. The EP was a huge hit and got the attention of the local independent record label, Dub Rock Records. A few weeks later, The Holdup signed exclusively with Dub Rock and began recording their first full length album Stay Gold. In March 2009 the long awaited album Stay Gold was finally released on Dub Rock, and debuted at an impressive number #34 on the Top 100 Reggae Albums on iTunes. In 2010 The Holdup released their sophomore album Confidence.

Album Review:
With their new album Still Gold, The Holdup brings their fans an earful of goodness. This young band has made quite an impression on the NorCal music scene and it sounds like they are not stopping any time soon. With an awesome blend of reggae, hip hop, dub and rock, their multi-genre fusion works just right, and provides the listener with a fun, easy going experience.

Their new album opens with Alone with You, a sexy song about a love interest with a fun and catchy reggae rhythm. The second track on the album is probably the most honest of them all, another nice reggae piece, One More Day talks about the not so fun side of being a band and dealing with the bleak side of the music industry. They also talk about being “pigeonholed” into one genre and the expectations laid upon them. I think this song reveals the band’s realization that being a band isn’t just about girls, money and fame but it also comes along with bad promoters, sucky shows, competition, and bad press to name a few; these are some of the reasons why bands break up, let’s just hope the guys don’t let this get the best of them. In this song they talk about some specific instances where they felt they were wronged and it also illustrates that the band is maturing, growing and evolving. They are obviously not the same as they were when they first started playing, they have now gotten a real taste of what it is to be a reggae/rock band and now they are taking that knowledge and moving forward.

Ruin Love has a more mainstream sound to it, a song about the game of love, I tend to skip this one every time probably because the following song The Girls, featuring Weege of 880 South, is my favorite song on the album. It starts out with an awesome piano melody before the drums come on and by then you are bobbing your head to the beat of a catchy chorus as the vocals are delivered in a rap style.

The core of the album is filled with songs about love, bad relationships, memories, partying and disloyal friends. The song The Drugs talks about just that, go figure, and there’s a remix of it a few songs later which is anything less than exciting, the only cool part about the remix may be the less than stellar scratching. The song Glad to be Home has a feel good melody and a nostalgic tone. The album closes with Hunnies and Hustlas Shout Outs a track where Clev and Mike Thank some of their most devoted supporters, it’s a nice touch but you know that track is getting skipped every time right?

For being at an early stage in their career, The Holdup has proven to be consistent with their ambitious delivery of feel good, fun reggae infused music. With the release of their 3rd album Still Gold the band has solidified their place in the reggae scene and has demonstrated their steady progress. This album exposes their new found knowledge about the scene, the industry and life altogether which is a clear indicator that growth is taking place musically as well as individually. I found the album to be very easy listening, their sound is clean and production is on point. I found the subject matter to be very age specific which makes it hard to connect for me since I feel I am somewhat passed some of the phases they may be going through in life. I also wasn’t necessarily impressed by the use of the words ho, bitch and groupies throughout the album. I do love the honesty in their songs and I feel that their sound is very radio friendly and I can sense a transition from an underground sound to one that is more mainstream. I would like to see The Holdup share their NorCal flavor with the rest of the nation and expand their fan base from coast to coast.

You can pick up Still Gold on iTunes by clicking HERE

Written & Reviewed by: Mariana Norcalchika Rojas
~Let The Music Take You Higher~

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]

17 Responses to Review: The Holdup – Still Gold

  1. chrissy says:

    i love the holdup i listen to them all the time. i wish i knew where to buy the album still gold though?

  2. Dub Diezel says:

    I hear ya Mariana, great review, I am 29 years old and will be 30 in a month and even with their previous two albums I felt I’m a bit passed some of the phases they are going through, though it”s fun to look back and relate to it somewhat when I was that age. With their free download they gave the PIER that you guys just posted, “one more day” Mike even mentions he’s not even 21 yet or something of that nature. I hate to say, but I almost felt when I saw the video to Summertime Baby etc.. that they were throwing in reggae beats etc..just because that”s what everyone listens to for the most part where they are at and all over the state of Cali period. It just kinda looked like girls girls girls and money money partying, which is not an insult of any means. I know that not awhole lot of fellow Floridians have even heard of em yet, unless heard from me introducing the band to them. I am interested in seeing where the mature lyrics go, though as you put it, quite a bit of dirty cursing. We’ll see, and I agree their production is CRISP and always on point. PEACE! Waiting for that new WAIT FOR GREEN album to drop!!!!!!!

  3. Nico says:

    The hold up, best reggae band! tthey deserve 5 stars, they are really diverse and good overall

  4. Jeremy Wagner says:

    This album is no doubt a hands down 5 star!!! Idk what you are thinking with 3 stars cause The Holdup never fails to amaze me, there music is the best and has such variety. Once again they deserve 2 more stars on this review!

  5. LeeAnne says:

    The Holdup is AWESOME! Take a look at how many fans they have in so many states. The music is “Feel Good Music” . The new CD “Still Gold” is once again showing the talent these guys have. I rate it 5 STARS all the way!

  6. Weege says:

    Interesting review…I mean I get ya on the age thing, but I’m 33 and I gotta say the songwriting has matured dramatically and if anything I think the age group they cater too may not be getting where the pain is coming from…I completely connect with this album, but maybe it’s because I lived a similar life not very long ago….for so many years I went through the same pains. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve changed…..but I love how brutally honest the songwriting has become, it’s fearless, passionate, and not cookie cutter(but sounds very pop)…but maybe I’m too close to it though. This is the most honest, thought provoking album by the Holdup yet, but most IMPORTANTLY, everyone finally got their reggae album, I hope their fans are happy about that because that is what they asked for. This album is a great blend of reggae and pop….but I’m completely biased being on the same label, same hood, same backyard parties…

    This album is dope! My only complaint, it’s too short. Wish it had like 8 more songs on it, haha.

    Thanks for the kind love though…glad you dig The Girls

  7. Sara says:

    Well the fact that the band is young makes sense as to why you might find the lyrics “young” but for us teenagers going through these things in highschool it’s a savior. Nothing like listening to the holdup in class listening to the same shit my friends and i are going through. The album shouldnt be rated on if its mature enough, most of the songs are real and you can feel the message. For how old the holdup is they make some of the best reggae in the scene. I love the brutal honesty and hardwork these dudes are doing. I hear other bands in the scene and they all sound like rebelution. Its good to know a band like th eholdup will play and say what they want without fearing the haters.

    The holdup 5 STARS!

  8. mikepatti says:

    Yo Weege! Great job on the hook to “These Girls”. By far the best track off the album! You & Mike share the mic well!

  9. Brendon says:

    Chrissy buy it on iTunes :)

  10. Greg .A says:

    Well, i got to say this album has it all. I have been a fan since stay gold and will always be a holdup fan. Each album is diverse and different, seem slike our scene is all sounding the same. It’s a refreshing crisp sound in the air. Big ups to the holdup boys and mad respect for staying true to the ones the matter your fans! We understand and feel your lyrics, dont worry about the haters do your thang you destined for greatness.

    Numba 1# hUSTLA

  11. Mike Landers says:

    Yo The Holdup Speaks the truth!! They’re music relates to real life so well (at least mine). Still Gold is on point and deserves five stars not three. Once again they far exceed my expectations, Love you guys and were tryin to hold it down on the east coast! Come visit soon! ps the NORVA in norfolk is a dope venue i can guarantee a sold out show if you come through here.

  12. Panda Man says:

    I think this review is accurate. This album has some decent highlights (The Girls) & a reggae rock / pop sound. Very pedestrian production & it appeals to teenagers. The lead singers voice is a bit nasal and monotone at times. I appreciate the honestly to the lyrics, but find it sad that they are so immature as to think calling girls names like ‘bitch’, ‘hoe’, etc. is acceptable. Reggae music has always had a respectful vibe towards women. The band is young, the still have some growing to do. I would def like to see how they mature in the future.

  13. KruxX says:

    “We’re not a reggae band, and never really claimed to be.”
    -Track 2, One More Day

    Well then why are all 3 of your albums on iTunes classified in the “Reggae” category? “The Holdup” is classified in the Reggae category as well.

  14. Weege says:

    First off! Mike Patti. How are you homie? I added you on facebook. I hope all is well, thanks for the kind words.

    Kruxx, you’re argument or should I say statement is a valid one…I can understand if maybe you’re bothered by that line and a lot of the lyrics written on this album are very painful and honest and industry specific.

    I’ll try not to spin this anymore biased because obviously these guys are very close to me but that doesn’t mean I speak for them. I speak from my perspective and opinion only.

    The genre classification is the only place they fit, I would say the next fit would be “alternative” but that’s a very broad term. In fact I have laid out this argument with many radio personalities and agencies. Reggae Rock isn’t really a genre, it’s a makeup, it’s a dubbed phrase. It’s a good one too and it covers a lot of the “sub-genre’s” classification. However, just by listening to The Holdup you can hear several influences, and maybe they are influences not every reggae lover can appreciate. However the fans speak for their reputation. It’s really that simple.

    I unfortunately had to do the same with my albums. We didn’t fit in hard rock, metal, punk, indie, progressive or any other type of alternative rock genre. We are definitely not world, r&b, hiphop or country. So when you’re categorizing your albums on iTunes, you have to chose the genre that best represents your sound and also gives you the best chance to gain visibility. No artists creates their music without the desire to expand their audience. That is asinine if anyone thinks that, and if their are artists that just make music for the “art” then that is a beautiful thing but some of us need to pay the rent. Keeping your fan base happy isn’t cheap either.

    Can you classify The Police as reggae? Sublime as Alternative? I’m just saying, they had to do what they had to do, like many other artists…it’s not like they’re trying to shit on the genre, they’re just saying we are what we are, take it or leave it. Are we roots reggae? obviously not…but reggae is the strongest influence in their music to this point.

    food for thought.

  15. maddi says:

    Will you be touring with them Weege? (:

  16. Irish says:

    3 stars is a jip. Been in the reggae scene for a while…even on the Label side of things…n these guys at least get a 4 or 4.5 for this album….

  17. Ryan says:

    the holdup is the worst fucking band i’ve ever heard. it’s like jonas brothers meets vybz kartel don’t even get me started on either of those

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