Gram Holli and the Berries is a band from England that is currently making a name for themselves by creating a sound that is slightly different than most of the music industry. Consisting of Singer songwriter Gram Holli on guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, Andy Flynn on drums, Richard - strings, Steve – brass, and Alan Gregson producer, backing vocals, the band incorporates strings and brass into their sound while still creating rock music that is accessible to the music-buying public. The resulting sound of the band has lightness to it while still containing a great deal of energy. The band has just released a new album called True Love.
True Love from Gram Holli and the Berries begins with the title track. “True Love” begins with a light guitar sound that quickly segues into a strong dance beat. The song alternates between a light Rock feel that is almost jazzy in nature and a more danceable feel throughout the entire length of the song. The addition of the trumpet on the track helps to add a nice amount of substance to the aforementioned jazzy feel.
The second track on the release, “Today, Christmas Day,” is the band’s song for the holiday season. The lyrics of the track describe the feel of the season as people experience the holiday. Gram Holli and the Berries’ style and sound works well it is filled with strings and bells and other sounds that are found in holiday music. When other bands have to add things to their music in order to make it fit into the holiday spirit, this band seems custom made for that sound. The track retains the festive feel of the season but still fits with the rest of the release that is not holiday related.
With the track “Here I Am,” the band creates a track that is features Gram Holli on the keyboard. The keyboard-based track has a very commercial feel to it. The addition of the guitar in the background of the track makes the song very strong. The track ends up being the first song on the release that could find its way onto the airwaves as a single. The song is one of the strongest tracks on True Love.
The song “Dawn” finds the band creating one of the prettiest tracks on the release. For the music on the song, Gram Holli and the Berries seem to create music that has a slight minimalist quality. The simple music of the song provides a lovely background to the lyrics about spending time together. The strings on the track also add a certain amount of beauty to the song. The song does, however, come to a rather strange end as the drums seem to continue while everything finishes until they just stop. Aside from the unusual nature of the drums on the track, “Dawn” does add beauty to the new release from Gram Holli and the Berries.
With the track of “Arthur Alone,” the track features lyrics of the legend of King Arthur. The song itself features a sound that feels as if it should have been created during the 1980s as part of the New Wave era of rock. The drumbeat on the song really does transport the listener back in time as it feels like it truly does belong in that New Wave era. “Arthur Alone” is another track on the album that is very strong.
“Drinking” is a track that features a fun, light quality to it. While the song does have to do with consuming alcohol there is a subtly to the lyrics. In the same light-hearted fashion of the track “Tubthumping” from Chumbawamba, “Drinking” from Gram Holli and the Berries will be easily one of the tracks on this release that people will identify with.
The album True Love from Gram Holli and the Berries is a release that has a lot of different sides to it. The band proves itself to be very versatile as the members of the group go from one style of rock and roll to another with seemingly little effort. With the ever-changing style throughout the release the listener never has the chance to get bored.
Artist: Gram Holli and the Berries
Album: True Love
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: Five (five stars)