Holy Rivals – Self-titled (2016)

Holy RivalsHoly Rivals (self-released, 25 May 2016)


Hey folks, remember all the way back to yesterday, when we talked about a pair of Howling Giant releases from 2016 and 2017? If not, make sure to go check it out! Anyway, way down at the end of that post you might notice that the Tennesseans are heading out on a tour of the eastern United States tomorrow night (Thursday, the 10th of May) and swinging through Pittsburgh soon after (Saturday, the 12th).

Well as it turns out, one of the local bands performing at that show also happens to be someone whose music we’ve been meaning to share with you for a while — in fact, their self-titled debut EP came out two years ago this month. So before any more time passes, today let’s listen to the self-described “three sludge/grunge dudes from Pittsburgh” known as Holy Rivals!



If the grimy and gritty (but never sloppy) combination of noiserock/punk wasn’t enough of a clue, by repeating the phrase “in the meantime” a couple times in opening track “Locked Inn” the band gives away one clear influence. Actually, if you envisioned a continuum ranging from Helmet to Mudhoney, this sextet of songs filled with grungy riffs and snarly-growly vocals would probably wind up dead center.

Holy Rivals also aren’t afraid to sprinkle in some political/social commentary in their lyrics (especially in “Loathe”), stopping well shy of Jello Biafra territory, but at least expressing a general condemnation and strong distaste for the powers that be.

Not to be pigeonholed though, they come across as vaguely pissed-off about the world at large, for the most part; but some of the longer compositions here take a step back from the anger and aggression to branch out a bit more: “Sleep” is slower and sludgier, build around kind of a somber stoner riff, and the even lengthier closing track “Into Dust” (nearly eight minutes) takes some peculiar turns, even interpolating an interpretation of The Doors‘ “The End” somewhere in the middle.


You can buy Holy Rivals on CD or as a digital download here.


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Howling Giant, Mires, Holy Rivals

Saturday 12 May 2018 | 9pm | $7
at Howlers, 4509 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh PA (Bloomfield)

More details: http://www.facebook.com/events/1857808887604197/


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