Deep in the growling pit of blues rock, Joshua & The Holy Rollers live and flourish in Los Angeles. Fronted by Joshua “Mac” Hanson, the youngest brother to the iconic 90s group*, The Holy Rollers pave a name for themselves to the tune of thick, emotive lines tangled with a folk undertone. Hanson’s debut EP, Tribulations, follows his first offering and soulful rock video “Hey Hey” that sees Hanson’s self-inflicted pain of a human and bad decisions take fruition to a gorgeous array of sincerity. Co-produced by brother Isaac Hanson, Tribulations becomes a personal penned collection that is hard to not love.
Managing to divulge a myriad of emotions with only five tracks, the EP peaks with the soulful and moody opener “Furlough.” Colored at a slower-tempo with a blue hue, the track unravels with a gentle longing: “Time may slip away, I may become just another face / But I still remember that beautiful day / You said hello and everything changed.” Hanson’s hearty vocals thrust from a pensive state to a reborn roar towards the end of the track which transitions cleanly onto “Hey Hey.”
“Right In Front of Me” takes a climatic folk-rock turn, heavy with a reflective stance as “Little Mare” revisits a similar alienated emotion that “Furlough” originally brought and tells an insightful tale. Hopeful and studded with gentle melodies, warm guitars end the EP on an optimistic note of acceptance and the next steps that must follow.
A standout slice on Tribulations that riddle a listener for more from the ensemble comes on the track “Door Man.” Looming to the tune of a deserted 70s game show, the track bitter-sweetly cruises along. Keys anticipate, thoughts collect, and the nostalgic wave of sounds speculate around the character of a door man and his impact in the world.
Aside from the clear notion that Hanson possesses natural powerhouse vocals, the EP highlights the different ranges of Hanson and the band. Even the most upbeat and momentous licks are rooted with a bit of grief, shining throughout Hanson’s croon. Introspective and filled with heart, Joshua & The Holy Rollers graciously add their ripple to the stream of Los Angeles with a successful introduction.
11/12/18: Edit for clarification; Joshua Hanson is not a member of the 90s pop-group, Hanson, but the youngest brother of the trio.