Riding hard on the coattails of the rock revolution taking place in the South East of England, trio Hold The Fight are bidding to be the latest outfit to break into the mainstream with their mini album ‘With A Breath And A Hope’.
Its fifteen minutes start strongly, up-tempo guitar work balancing nicely with singer Laurie Cottingham’s vocals and the chorus is memorable enough to knock out those lingering from Don Broco’s ‘Priorities’. The momentum continues with ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’, weaving a small-town tale into something catchy and accessible, complete with vocal melodies and inventive musical turns. Its slower passages offer excellent foil to the shoutier moments.
The strongest track on the record is ‘Who’s Game For Another One Line Adventure?’, complete with a riff that threatens to break into legitimate rock territory but still remains within their self-proclaimed pop remit. It is that remit that may hold the band back. Balancing pop elements with the inventive lead guitar lines and gang vocals is difficult for any band to do well and unfortunately, neither side of Hold The Fight‘s sound is given the chance to develop.
By the time the band have played through ‘We Will Sink Your Battleship’ and the curiously titled ‘Face It Kid, You Can’t Build A Bridge Out Of Algebra’ there is no illusion that the songs on the mini-album would sound excellent live. Given the chance to break free from the studio recording, they may have the chance to take on a new life and develop into something more loud, hard edged and exciting.
Hold the Fight are an interesting proposition, at moments they show flashes of quality and promise, but ‘With A Breath And A Hope’ is just not exciting enough. Their song writing formula will gain them fans, but there is a chance that many will hear the tracks and just go back to their Lower Than Atlantis or Deaf Havana albums, bands who are producing similarly styled music, but to a far higher standard.
If the band can develop their sound in a cohesive manner and find their niche, the Eastbourne trio will find opportunities and with the popularity of poppy, hardcore tinged rock, fans will come. Whether they can hold their attention, only time will tell.
Reviewer: Dave Straw