Rating – 3.5/5
“Gutter” attempts to combine the best of the best modern British rock movement with 80’s Punk inspired guitar work for good measure. Holding Out has produced an interesting and engaging experience with “Gutter”.
The opening sample adds some excellent speculation about what is to come. A Black Flag inspired distorted riff is always a safe bet and an indulging way to begin any song. Gutter does exactly that. The guitar has some enormous presence and really takes the full force of the song immediately. With the drums adding a thumping rhythm to allow the guitar to make a stand and set the scene of the modern Punk display to come. However, the drums sound very thin in terms of production. They lack in force and should act as a strong body in the mix but the drum production lets the track down in certain aspects. However, this is the only real negative comment to be made about “Gutter” and with improved production in the future “Holding Out” are sure to achieve their true creative vision and have their sound moulded correctly.
The vocals sound great with a true Frank Carter inspired almost spoken-word approach is taken with some aggressive shouts used as harmonies to emphasise the expression in the lyrics. Lyrically this track is well thought out. The message and agenda of the vocals is a topic the band has obviously taken the time to study and perfect. The drumming is also a pleasure to listen to and shows a true Punk sytle in every beat while adding a modern approach to the rhythm section.
The build into the chorus is distinctive and unique. Gone is a true break and structure approach, and a sudden building progression into the chorus arises with each member adding critical crescendos when needed to ascend into a chorus full of pace and varied textures. The track then takes a turn with additional energy and aggression added. The production also again lets this thunderous section down. In a more live recording setting with a fuller-sounding mix, this section would be chaotic, as the songwriting is exactly that, but the production does not truly reflect the music. Although this isn’t something will jump out and reduce the standard of the song in a dramatic way. It is merely just a criticism and a gesture of how this great track could be improved. The bridge is a systematic destruction of vocal shouts and guitar work that complement each other fantastically. The track closes smoothly and leaves the listener with a lasting impression, ticking every box that a fan of Punk will want to experience in track.
Holding out are a refreshing new band and showcased some excellent talent and potential with “Gutter”. With some production changes and some more drive on their true artistic vision, this band has all the potential for high success and make waves in the modern Punk and Rock scene with ease.
Review by Rob Kent