“The Holy Pictures” – David Holmes

3 stars (out of 5)

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David Holmes - Holy PicturesA fairly rare event these days – a new album from David Holmes.  This one has been a long time in the making ; the event which triggered off the process was the death of his mother Sarah in 1996, leading to the realisation that he wanted to create an album reflecting his own childhood, family and friends.

David Holmes is often seen as a Renaissance man of the British scene, combining DJ’ing, film soundtracks and music production throughout his career with elements of each these disciplines cross-fertilising with the others.  His first 2 albums, “This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats” and “Let’s Get Killed” both had a very cinematic feel and “The Holy Pictures” carries on this tradition, bringing in many more influences such as German 1970s electronic (I don’t like the K word) and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

The standout tracks on the album are the opener “I Heard Wonders” (already showing up as TV incidental music) and the title track “The Holy Pictures”, both of which are wall of sound productions which are heavily bass-driven and force you to take notice.  Even on these 2 songs  the vocal is well back in the mix, which indicates that David Holmes knows that it’s not really strong enough to be right up at the front.

The remainder of the album is dominated by breathy, atmospheric and cinematic pieces which are interesting enough but don’t stick once you move on to the next track.  As a whole, the album is certainly evocative and, at times, vaguely menacing as Holmes not only introduces some uncharacteristic personal themes into his work but also exorcises a few demons along the way.

An interesting album, but only the 2 stormers really stand out as memorable.