album reviews

Maniacs From The 4th Dimension – Paul Holda Band

Based out of Bernardsville, New Jersey, Paul Holda comes to the stage with an undying passion for the art of music. Working as a composer, singer, and songwriter, Paul’s love affair with music began early in his youth. The creative power of his symphonious genius is embodied in the wonderful new conception album titled Maniacs From The 4th Dimension.

Comprised of nineteen tracks, Maniacs From The 4th Dimension is an incredibly adventurous offering from the Paul Holda Band. The album includes original cover artwork by Mike Dubois and Renee French. Also featured on the album are some amazing spoken word performances by  Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut, Terrence McKenna, and Ken Kesey.

Maniacs From The 4tth Dimension features all original music with interpretations of  “Hard Rain is Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan and “Sisters and Brothers” by Jerry Garcia Band. Paul Holda not only wrote and recorded the album but played all the instruments, thereby making the Paul Holda Band a true one-man show.

The album is best classified as progressive rock with some flirtation with psychedelia. The great thing about this work is its awesome inventiveness and sleek continuity. The following track-by-track review covers much of the imagery and poetic measures the album.

album cover

Maniacs From The 4th Dimension Track-by-Track Review

1- Till We Meet Again – A charming way to open this melodic journey. This is definitely a rockers track that introduces the Paul Holda Band’s audience to the organic feel of the musical road ahead. The track has a very good rhythm.

2-Elderberry – I love the guitars on this track and the 70’s rock influences are carried out with a modern twist. Elderberry has a killer groove that is wonderfully executed by a moving bassline and electric guitar.

3- Buzzy – Switching up the pace for a second, Buzzy elaborates upon sharply-tuned guitars layered to perfection.

4- Never Left – This track’s heavy funk and bluesy overtones really make this smooth groove something enjoyable.

5- The Good Garden – Somewhat experimental in its presentation, this is one item that proves to be a hazy gem.

6- Wooden Velvet – Paul Holda reveals another side of his skill as a musician with this excellent forte of exquisite instrumentation that exemplifies its folk-rock appeal.

7- Advice From Lawrence – An excellent tune with a strong beat and flavorful rhythms. We get to hear the album’s first vocals with a cerebral poetic performance from Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

8- Reducing Valve – A uniquely structured track with an excellent play on guitar by Paul Holda with spoken word by Aldous Huxley.

9- Slightly Unstuck In Time – An easy-to-follow spoken word performance by Kurt Vonnegut. The music is a grassroots fusion that is equally witty.

10- Alien Intelligence – The title of this track is in tune with its theme. Alien Intelligence also seems to be a continuation of the prior track and its topic of extraterrestrials. In this case, the late mystic and writer Terence McKenna’s provides a healthy portion of spoken word.

11- Midnight on the Run – A dreamy rocker tune that features the expertise of American novelist Ken Kesey. Midnight on the Run is a hypnotically deep conversation about the “Warrior’s Code” and the strength needed to endure struggle.

12- The Mountain – The song’s structure is somewhat reminiscent of a few tunes from the legendary George Harrison’s Dark Horse. The Mountain has a very distinguished bassline which brings to life some of the background instruments.

13- Cosmic – An enthralling selection that blossoms into a lotus of psychedelic rock. Cosmic reminds me of some of the English garage bands of the late-60s.

14- Time Is Slipping – Terrific melody and Paul Holda’s vocal performance is superb. Definitely one of the album’s gems.

15- Sun Came Up – Truly a nature lover’s track. Although we’ve covered much in regards to the album’s music, the lyricism of Maniacs From The 4th Dimension is ahead of its time. Sun Came Up is set in the world where the rising of the sun and moon does play a part in our moods and experiences.

16- Show Me The Way – A delightful measure that opens with a driving beat and a surprisingly marvelous chorus.

17- Two Birds – Another album favorite led by a bluesy guitar that is absolutely stunning.

18- A Hard Rain Is a-Gonna Fall – An excellent way to wind down this masterpiece. You’ll be humming this tune’s melody before it ends.

19- My Sisters and Brothers (Promised Land) – A perfect concluding track and way to end a stupendous body of work. This is the cherry atop of the cake.

The Paul Holda Band has put together a body of work that is not only valued for its entertainment purposes but its educational worth in measures, song structure, and cultural art.  Maniacs From The 4th Dimension is like a time machine of rock music’s nostalgic period with a prophecy for these days and times. It doesn’t get better than this and that too is a blessing.

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