GUEST POST: Lisa Coverdale of HoldTight PR – Top Albums Of 2018

To say that HoldTight PR has a whole cohort of bands that sit very much within the Ghost Cult world is to state the bleedin’ obvious. With a specialism in noisy, discordant, progressive, sludgy, punky and cutting edge, we’re easy bedfellows. Added to that, head honcho Lisa Coverdale is a potty-mouthed whirling dervish with a wicked sense of humour and a way with words that lures you into checking out her bands with a glint of excitement before you’ve even hit play. We’re delighted to continue to work with her to give exposure to a whole host of the modern underground scenes’ best new up-and-coming bands. We’re also pretty chuffed to be hosting her albums of the year post, too…

But first…


You’ve worked with a host of great bands and labels this year, but which have been your favourite and most memorable campaigns, and why?

Working with MØL and Boss Keloid has been incredible. Holy Roar, their label, have had a phenomenal year and label boss Alex Fitzpatrick has an incredible set of ears. His entire roster has hit the spot with fans and with the music press this year and it’s a rare talent. AND….the bands are super lovely to work with. They all get it, they work hard, play hard, are polite and fun to work with. You couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to work with.

Also, a band that I’ve just taken on, Mastiff, on APF Records are among the nicest, most thoughtful guys I’ve ever come across and yet they’re all built like tanks and create a sound that sounds like someone shat Satan out of a bison. They release in February 2019 but already they’re shaping up to be loads of fun to work with.


What have you got coming up in the first half of next year that we should all be getting excited about?

Mastiff, as described above, are releasing Plague on February 1 and that right now is one of the most exciting things for me as it’s an album that I’d go out and buy if I wasn’t working it. It’s brutal, savage…insert a million words for ungodly here…it’s next level stuff.


We’ve got Minors releasing Abject Bodies on Holy Roar on February 22nd which is just an absolute beast of an album – noise, grind, sludge, hardcore,


Boss Keloid head off on tour in January which is unmissable, seriously get out to see them –

And TesseracT head back out on tour for a month in America with Between the Buried and Me and Astronoid in February


What are you hoping to find under your Christmas tree this year…?

A mushroom foraging identification book by Roger Phillips and a mushroom foraging knife because I’m incredibly sad and love foraging for wild food, we live on the edge of a HUGE forest and mushrooms are amazing and plentiful there but I’ve not yet learned all of the good ones versus the ones that will kill me.

So, between my geek music list, and my fondness for mushroom foraging, I’m sure I’m never getting invited to any cool parties ever again.

And speaking of that geek music list… we proudly present Lisa Coverdale’s Albums of the Year 2018

10. TesseracT – Sonder (Kscope)

James Monteith (TesseracT guitarist and HoldTight Director) said that if I didn’t put his band’s album in my list then he’d fire me. So here we are. It’s always hard to critique a friends work but TesseracT makes it easy by being so incredibly good. They’ve worked hard as a band to evolve over the years, becoming true masters of the Prog Metal genre and with each release, their capabilities grow to the point where they’re not only flying the flag for British metal but also leading the new wave of progressive bands worldwide. Very proud of them.


9. Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet – Landfall (Nonesuch)

An album inspired by a hurricane no less, blends spoken-word narration of reminiscence, regret and anger with string arrangements and electronic weaving. A sublimely beautiful soundscape which is eerily haunting in parts, it can be an unsettling listen. But it’s brilliant, more art than music and I highly encourage anyone with an ear for the unusual and the exploratory to check it out.


8. Mary Halverson – Code Girl (Firehouse 12)

Another experimental guitarist, I just love love love the instrument and people who can play it intensely well and in such an unorthodox manner. Code Girl brings a more avant-garde, indie fused with free jazz fusion to Mary’s sound this time around and the result is a phenomenal album.


7. Verlorener – Verlorener (Seek & Strike)

I’m a sucker for guitars that are played well and Emil Werstler (Daath, Chimaira) is an incredible guitarist. I fell into this album because of my previous love of Emil’s work on projects such as Levi/Werstler (Avalanche of Worms is an incredible listen) and honestly I wasn’t expecting this album to sound like it does at all. It’s an odd, often unsettling listen because it feels like it shouldn’t work but it does. It’s weird but wonderful.


6. Thomas Giles – Don’t Touch The Outside (Sumerian)

Brilliant solo album, brilliant songwriter, brilliant vocalist. He’s a genius. Maybe not a genius but a really clever, creative person with the voice of a demented angel. One of my late night go to albums which is just perfect for when you want to shut the world outside off and retreat inward.


5. Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)

Just an absolutely brilliant album full of progressive metal, wonder and joy. Twisting, turning song structures and a perfect blend of technical Death Metal with mixes of prog, jazz, and fusion. Rivers of Nihil are one of the few truly exciting bands of the moment with that “what will they do next?” feel and Where Owls Know My Name has been a constant listen throughout the year. Bravo gents, splendiferous! Bonus points for having Owls in your album title, can the next one be about badgers?


4. Yob – Our Raw Heart (Relapse)

I love Yob. I just bloody love them and they can do no wrong. A stunning listen. It needs no explanation. IT IS YOB.


3. MØL – Jord (Holy Roar)

I saw a short clip of a band on Instagram and fell in love, instantaneously. I contacted their record label and begged on my knees to do their PR and well…here we are. What a debut! MØL deliver a heart wrenching, cathartic glimpse of their world on this stunning release. I’ve cried more times than is healthy listening to this album this year and I knew from the very first listen that if we could just get their music to the right ears then it would fly and it has. A beautiful album by beautiful people with a darkness right at its core that is all-encompassing. I am massively in love with this band.


2. Boss Keloid – Melted On The Inch (Holy Roar)

Where do you start with Boss Keloid? I’m absolutely rabid for them. A Stoner band that has ploughed their own unique niche into the sublime world of psychedelic Prog but…they’re more than that. I don’t know how you classify them, or if you should, I just know that when Alex Hurst opens his lungs it sounds like all of the air has been sucked out of the atmosphere and blown back to earth in tune and incredibly loud. Melted On The Inch is a turning point for the band, an incredible marker that exclaims, “We are here and you will listen!”

Boss Keloid stand proudly on their own, neither one thing or the other. A cracking album that all fans of progressive rock/metal need to listen to. Plus they wear awesome jumpers. Jumper Prog. These guys are going to be huge, if you don’t believe me, watch this phenomenal live set from them of the entire album…


1. Between The Buried And Me – Automata I & II (Sumerian)

DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY. What else needs to be said? Automata II is some of the best music that Between the Buried and Me have widdled/poked/prodded and conjured together in years. Like Prog Metal black mages, they are untouchable in this genre and I’ve no idea how they do what they do. My husband spent a night trying to explain to me (he’s a musician) how it’s all written and my brain melted out of my eyes and I couldn’t see for three days.

I absolutely fucking love them.

I could wax lyrical about them forever but in the end, all it would look like is me rather excitedly shouting THIS BAND ARE BRILLIANT AND YOU ARE NUTS IF YOU DON’T AGREE. The opener on Automata II, ‘Proverbial Bellow’, is insanely good, those guitars, THE DRUMS…fuck! ‘Voice Of Trespass’ is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard and ‘Blot’ on Automata I sounds like they’ve had to break their fingers to play it. It’s all good. Just listen to this band. Then listen again. But for the sake of your own sanity, if you are a non-musician don’t ask how it’s done. Don’t believe me? Read this explanation from bassist Dan Briggs…. Anyone know what a unison line or a triplet phrase is? No…me either but the albums are amazing. Automata II is the standout of the year for me. I’m so happy I could eat my own face. Bloody love them.


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