Holy Rolling Empire: Noise Will Be Noise (Self-released) 

The new EP by Tucson combo the Holy Rolling Empire (this year's Tucson Weekly delegate to SXSW), Noise Will Be Noise, is a strong effort in a growing body of work that consistently hits the sweet spot between hard-edged power pop and psychedelia—which is clearly HRE's stock-in-trade.

Noise Will Be Noise is the group's first vinyl release. It has six individual tracks, but two of them are interstitials ("Noise 1" and "Noise Interlude"); while the whole thing is intended to flow together as one piece of music, it's not quite a suite or a specific motif. In particular, they go somewhat far afield on "Keep It Together," which, in its use of horns and certain R&B conventions, is evocative of Merseybeat.

The title track is more in keeping with where they've gone before; it's a driving rocker that showcases singer Orin Shochat's versatile quasi-falsetto. But it's the last track, "Up for Air," that's the standout, with a simple but insanely catchy main guitar hook that washes over like sorrow, and a wistful refrain about an absentee lover. Add in great vocal harmonizing, and you have HRE at their best: They're emotionally evocative earworm creators.

More by Curtis McCrary


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