We Review the New EP From Harry J. Hart – Holding On For My Life

Though hailing from Australia’s Gold Coast, Harry J Hart’s music feels like a far cry from the sun-kissed shores of his hometown. Indeed, his latest release, the Holding on For My Life EP shares more in common with early Silverchair than it does fellow Gold Coaster Peter Andre.

That said, while the record relishes in a weighty, brooding alt rock aesthetic, it feels far less indebted to the ‘90s than it could, tipping its hat just enough to feel both classic and contemporary. Charting the breakdown of a relationship and exploring the tumult of emotions that brings with it, the record is six tracks of soaring guitars, weighty bass and calamitous percussion that provide the backdrop for Hart’s own inimitable vocal delivery.

Opening with the anthemic ‘Who We Are’, there’s a feeling of alt-rock royalty Incubus about the track; its spacious, airy verses a direct contrast to its huge, emphatic chorus. Elsewhere, ‘Stay’ is a frenetic and driving offering, ever mounting towards its conclusion.

Of course, the record does have its softer moments, ‘Make It Easy’ is an obvious single choice, harbouring more of an indie feel than the weighty alternative rock found elsewhere, it provides an air of optimism in an otherwise despondent record, and signalling the point in the record’s narrative in which things start to get easier.

Even with the realisation that it’s better to move on, Hart closes out the record with arguably its heaviest and weighty cut. Brooding and claustrophobic, ‘It Calls Out’ might well signal a point in which one is finally over the relationship, or at least getting to that point, but it doesn’t mean that life is peaches and cream after, either.

Succeeding in showcasing both Hart’s skills as a musician, and working as a gentle nod to his influences, Holding On For My Life is bold and brash, forgoing any of the pitfalls that might come with making such an emotionally charged release, and instead relishing in the emotions, good and bad, and conveying them to his fans with a sense of both urgency, and understanding. A solid release.