In between its cliché riddled lyrics and its throw-away riffs, Holding Sand’s first full-length release Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid is a somewhat disappointing outing for this French post-hardcore outfit. One of the major grievances with this record, and it may seem an unfair criticism, is that the Frenchmen, in circumventing the use of their native tongue, occasionally make the vocal delivery seem contrived and overwrought; as a consequence, some of the more emotive sequences, found in Happy Endings and Lidocaine seem almost comical. The chorus lyric on Bound To Go Wrong sounds like an overbaked Will Haven impersonation, lurching the song away from pathos and more into line with ludicrous.
The major flaw with this record, however, is that it lacks ambition and gives you very little incentive to hit the play button again; it’s an album saturated with derivative elements, and with very little built upon the archetypes of an already turgid genre. When Some Things… does venture some alternative features, such as the dual blast of vocals on Only The Infants Shall Live and the smouldering pace of single Float, there are reasons to be genuinely interested in what Holding Sand have to offer. However, all too often the band throws out the kind of filler tracks that should have struggled to make it onto a collection of their b-sides. Additionally, the inclusion of Superman (Remix) shows how much hardcore bands persist in making nods to the realms of electronica these days, and unfortunately, in Holding Sand’s case, it just proves to be a fumbled and fidgety irritation.
All in all, Holding Sand have produced a record that is an acceptable representation of its genre, but provides little-to-no demonstrations of original thought or flourishes of passion. The moments of intriguing musicianship indicate some semblance of a future for Holding Sand, but this record will likely find itself noted and quickly forgotten in the pages of post-hardcore’s history.
Standout Track: Float
For Fans of: We Are the Ocean
Written by: David Keevill