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The Holsteins - Dodge the ground (Shiny)

Dodge The Ground is the fourth EP from the Belfast five-piece pop band. It consists of six short snappy tracks (and a rather fine "hidden track"). Picking up this CD, you immediately know what you are going to get. The summery scene featuring a bouncing beach ball is probably the best metaphor I can find to describe their music.

However, I regret to say that the CD starts quite poorly. While 'Country in the town' is a nice tune, it did not grab me the way the rest of the CD did. Therefore it is quite disappointing that this was chosen as the debut track, but this feeling is quickly eradicated when 'Slowburner' starts. This should have been the opening song. I can guarantee the chorus "You're a slowburner baby, such a slowburner baby" will be firmly implanted in your brain for weeks to come. Although this may be a rather lazy comparison to make, (being that the band is fronted by the female honeysweet voice of Nimah Rooney) this track definitely brought back memories of the lighter side of defunct American band Belly.

'Still waiting', complete with gentle tinkering piano akin to Ben Folds, at first appears a little out of place, but, given a few listens, it slots in very snugly. The production has to be commended, particularly on this track where the lush strings could have stifled the tune, but instead provide the perfect accompaniment to the gentler side of Rooney's voice.

All the comparisons can be made: The Sundays, Belly, The Popguns, early Cardigans etc. and they are fair comparisons to make. But The Holsteins bring something new to the formula. A freshness I can't quite put my finger on and at the end of the day who cares? This is a fine snappy little EP that won't change your life, but will brighten up your day!

Graham Smith

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