Indebted to British post-punk ranging from Bauhaus to Chapterhouse, Michael Taggart of Boston sons American Thread — who recently released their sophomore album, Songs in the War — has come forth with Kurt Lusas on his own project, Hold/Transfer.
Opening with the bobbing instrumental, “New Strangers,” emotions swirl, sparking various sensory perceptions. The power of the duo is restrained here but on fully flexed on “Hissfits,” “Branton” and “What is Friendship Anyway?” with its wall of feedback. Channeling stalwarts Depeche Mode on “All or Nothing” and early New Order on “Nerves on the Big Occasion,” Taggart pairs with Heather Cinqmars, whose smoky vocals on the latter echo Taggart’s internal longing.
Hold/Transfer’s penchant for shoegaze is clear on songs like “Hang Tight and Wait,” the pensive “Subways” and the love song “Sofia,” all bearing fuzzy guitar swirls, amorphous bass grooves and hypnotic drum beats.
Worlds apart from the nostalgia of American Thread, Hold/Transfer’s self-titled debut is nonetheless inspiring. By providing a fresh perspective on decades of music not too far removed from today, Hold/Transfer shows why we loved those sounds the first time around.
Stream/download Hold/Transfer below.