Holy Popes: Gritty post-garage punk debut hits the mark..


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Rating: 4 out of 5.

//YOUR HIDDEN GEM: “We didn’t care. We were just making exactly what we wanted with no intention of thinking about labels, tours, fans…it made us excited again.”

Bristolian trio Holy Popes are no strangers to creating distorted worlds all the while sticking up two fingers to the man. Now, they are set to release their debut self-titled smoking gun of spiky punk, as music becomes the catalyst for the oppressed. Galvanised from former 80s Matchbox member, Dom Knight and drummer Luke Bujniewicz brought together a twitching glimpse at something promising…something brewing in the seedy underbelly of post-garage punk. The poster child of Iggy Pop’s dynamics and The Damned‘s fused fury, HOLY POPES are a force to be reckoned with. Not just in the city walls of Bristol, but internationally scoping the lengths of just how far such a band can go. The three-piece start the storm with a special release show in Bristol at The Golden Lion on release day (27th).

To put it simply, HOLY POPES self-titled is an escapade for music without the labels that come with it. Shedding unvaried themes to address, HOLY POPES expressed their freedom, by simply creating what they want. It’s universally punk, and quintessentially HOLY POPES. If you don’t know what that may sounds like, boy, are you about to.

The sludge of Seance whips us right into shape, before we’re thrown in to Pencils. A jarring, staccato spear of angsty works addressing the caustic issues of expressing multi-layered emotions as a male in a relationship. A highly pent-up discussion that’s best thrown around in the pitalls of punk. A free spirit of expression in the music industry – an industry seemingly dampened in stark originality. Skin of an Ape is a visceral engraving of guitar noise – a lashing of pure, unadulterated punk that fits heavenly in this assorted eleven-track premiere. But of course, lead single DBT is the star of a show. A wild toppling to the statue of capitalism, DBT is pure soaking. “Our entire system is based around debt, says Knight of the track’s lyrical content. “From using sea shells as markers of goods that are owed, to the paper money we hold in our hands being merely trust in an idea of wealth rather than having actual value. These ideas always affect the poorest in society and we see it so often with money lending, overdrafts and borrowing.”

A debut of blitz to turn the heads of any punk anarchist, it is certainly looking to be the year for HOLY POPES. Best jump aboard, you don’t wanna miss this tightly-packed party boat. Let’s dance whilst we overthrow harmful systems.


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