Holes in the Wall
(db Records)

It has almost been ten years since a swaggering bunch of Mancunians led by two fairly opinionated brothers took the British pop scene by the scruff of its neck and ushered a golden era in nineties rock music affectionately known as “Britpop.”  

Like Oasis, The Electric Soft Parade are fronted by two brothers – Tom & Alex White – both still in their teens, and their debut album, Holes in the Wall, bears all the distinctive hallmarks of the seminal recordings of the Britpop epoch. A melding of sixties British Invasion cool and seventies English punk crunch. 

Thus, it is no surprise that any discerning pop student will be able to easily pick up the influences of the Brothers White. Considering that the boys first real taste of modern rock music probably arrived at the peak of Britpop, there is a strong sense and weight of the likes of Supergrass ("Empty at the End"), Blur ("There’s A Silence"), Oasis ("Something’s Got to Give"), Ash ("Biting the Soles of my Feet") & Manic Street Preachers ("The Given Line"), for instance.  

However, ESP reach back further than the nineties and certainly you cannot ignore the evident impression of Nick Drake on "It’s Wasting Me Away," ELO on "Sleep Alone" or the Zombies on the title track. The jewel in the crown comes in the form of the band’s debut single – "Silent to the Dark," which stirs with its West Coast inflections, breezy folksy approach and an infectious chorus that takes no prisoners.  

Suffice to say that Holes in the Wall is a refreshing injection into the moribund British pop scene, the fact that the Whites are as young as they are introduces an air of optimism about the future of British rock – which has been crying out for a return to its rich melodic tradition. There is enough here to suggest that the Electric Soft Parade can take its lovingly rendered pop art to its logical conclusion. (A)