The Holloways

    So This Is Great Britain?


    Named after the North London neighborhood, the Holloways follow a long tradition of jovial Britpop with their debut full-length, So This Is Great Britain? The quartet formed in 2004 when vocalist/guitarist Alfie Jackson met his future bassist Bryn Fowler, who had never played the instrument before. As such, these songs don’t feature virtuoso instrumentals or awe-inspiring lyricism. Instead, the band’s charming, upbeat melodies boil down to the chorus of “Generator”: “I can get a record player and a generator; generate the music that makes you feel better.”



    The bulk of the tracks fall somewhere in between those of the Strokes and those of Madness, the Holloways dabble into other British niches: “Malcontented One” delves into the lean instrumentation of Elvis Costello; “Two Left Feet” takes a page out of the Pogues’ Fall from Grace with God; and there is no eluding the band’s pseudo-political commentary. In “Reinvent Myself,” Jackson decries, “I think Mr. Blair is causing anarchy.” And, not one to join the masses of naysayers, the band asks, “And why attack the fire brigade?/ You lure them in with a fire you made/ you shower them with rocks ’cause you’ve nothing to do/ why should they care when the flames come licking at you?”