Holy Red Wagon is a world to get lost in. Across nine elastic tracks, meticulously channeled freak-folk influence twists its way into Bruiser and Bicycle’s progressive rock-skewed artpop.
Replete with rich imagery and burning affirmations for life, the Albany, NY group’s exploratory writing takes the form of grandiose song structures, call-and-response passages, and confrontations with the unfamiliar. Lead single “1000 Engines”, an explosive and frenetic introduction to Holy Red Wagon, lurches between genre spectrums on a dime, coalescing somewhere between jangle rock and experimental pop.
Flashes of psychedelia find home on Holy Red Wagon too, as heard in the various synths and atmospherics in the frenzied second single “Superdealer”, the first song written for the album. One of the shorter works on the record, the song about desire features an unforgettable, extended bridge that captures the pop aptitude of Bruiser and Bicycle, as well as the spirit of Holy Red Wagon itself.
While the chaos that jumps out from Holy Red Wagon seems at first listen to be its salient feature, it’s the contrasts and juxtapositions of style and sound that are its beating heart—ostensible chaos revealing more and more of its order with each successive listen.
"What sounds at first like free-spirited chaos settles into a strange rhythm, like three different heartbeats that just happen to intertwine snugly."
"An album of expanding, exploding layers, … the type of record the listener will hear new sounds within far into the future of repeated listens."
““Aerial Shipyards” opens the record by lurching forward, a nautical, stretched-and-contorted piece of Beach Boys-esque studio pop that eventually surges into full-on psychedelia towards the end. This is a theme of Holy Red Wagon, with songs taking journeys and having enough time to get there that it ends up being a gradual transition from say, the jaunty first half of “Forks of the Jailhouse” to the more pensive closing few minutes to its psychedelic rock outro.”
"... very much the kind of sensory adventure that takes hold of the psyche and transcends the physical spaces which exist around us."
"... a dense mix of freak folk, art pop, and psych rock, sprawling between interludes of breathy recorder and crashing drums."