Hold Fire, Bruised Fruit (self-released)
Find it: holdfiremusic.bandcamp.com
Bruised Fruit, the sprawling debut from Columbia indie rock quartet Hold Fire, feels at times like a distillation of millennial indie rock as it brims with the eager melody and bursting dynamics of perennial favorites, without sacrificing the idiosyncrasies that mint cult-favorites.
Take, for instance, the urgent “Stay Ugly,” which matches a driving keyboard pulse with the sort of growled vocals that made Man Man momentarily famous. Then compare it to the somber “Home,” which glides along reverb-soaked guitars and an earnest vocal that bridges the difference between Annuals and Band of Horses. Throughout Bruised Fruit, Hold Fire covers the space between its indie influences, shifting from buoyant, keyboard-driven pop to wistful acoustic Americana, from overdriven vamps into jangling chords.
This chameleonic approach is perhaps best exemplified by the title track, which pairs its anthemic declaration — “We will make it through / If it’s all that we do” — against a shifting backdrop of prodding post-rock guitars, thick walls of alt-rock overdrive, and a melodramatic dynamic that pushes the song to the sort of room-filling expanse that remains a hallmark of indie rock’s biggest hitmakers, from Arcade Fire to Muse.
As much sonic ground as the 13-track album covers, it’s a remarkably cohesive and confident debut. Held together by distinctive vocals and an earnest approach to melody that lends itself well to the shifting arrangements driving it. With only three years under its belt, it’s clear that Hold Fire has found an approach that works, and honed it across a generous full-length release. The bar has been set for the band’s future output.
What: Hold Fire
Where: Art Bar, 1211 Park St.
When: Friday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
With: Kyle Fuller & the End Time Prophets, WritersBlock
More: 803-929-0198, artbarsc.com