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  • David Bentley

The Holy – The Rocket Song (single)

I’ll say straight off that I don’t yet know quite what to make of this one.

Finland’s The Holy have been visitors to these pages in the past, and this recently released single will probably be on their next album, ‘Mono Freedom’.

The first problem is that I don’t know when that will be. The accompanying PR says ‘next spring’. But the original date was this spring (do you delay for a year?) while on their Facebook page the band itself gives two separate dates – September 18th and then October 2nd in conjunction with a small tour around Finland.

The second one is the nature of the song. ‘The Rocket Song’ “tells the story of human arrogance which results in their extinction.” Front man Eetu Iivari says, “The last people living on earth decide to build a space rocket and try to go through black holes to new galaxies. But they fail, like we humans tend to do. We often think we're unbeatable.” The message then ends with “Quite ironic given the current pandemic.”

There’s quite a lot being thrown in here. The end of the world, but a few people manage to knock together a space rocket (out of meccano?) capable of going through black holes. But they fail. It won’t make Hollywood for sure.

Then there’s the reference to the pandemic. On Facebook the band says "This one is special. We wrote the song before Covid-19… anyway I hope we make it!”

Cards on the table I’m averse to linking previously written songs to current events, in order to capitalise on them. As for Covid, we don’t know that ‘human arrogance’ was at its root cause although human failings of many kinds certainly played their part.

Finally, I don’t think the band writing the song and then current events taking place counts as ‘ironic’ any more than half the ‘irony’ on Alanis Morissette’s song. Coincidental, perhaps.

Then another review threw climate change into it; the ‘arrogance’ bit I assume. I should have seen that one coming and indeed the opening lyrics hint at that leading to ‘the end of the world’. But in that case shouldn’t it be called The Climate Song? And equally it seems to suggest, bizarrely, that consumerism is the main cause.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, when I reviewed their dual single release back in March I was quite impressed by the band, what with Metal, Kraut, Punk and a smattering of Pop and Prog all thrown into the mix of the two songs.

This one is on a grander scale and they’ve produced the emotion behind their philosophy without doubt. Slow it down a little (it rattles through four and a half minutes like it’s an Olympics track event) and it could be U2 fronted by Bono but without the pretentiousness. There’s even an The Edge-like guitar bridge. At other times I could hear a smattering of Arcade Fire.

There will be comparisons with other rocket songs of course; Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ and Elbow’s ‘Lippy Kids’ (Build a rocket, boys) perhaps even Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’. All classics, of course. This isn’t, but as a live track when they finally get to do that, the ground could be shaking like Cape Canaveral at a Saturn V launch.

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