Spotlight Track: ‘Holy Mother Of God’ – Greg Hoy & The Boys

Folk N Rock
Spotlight Track: ‘Holy Mother Of God’ – Greg Hoy & The Boys

I’ve been on the hunt for some rock’n’roll with a bit more edge to it lately. You know, something with some teeth to it. Well, when ‘Holy Mother Of God’ from Greg Hoy & The Boys landed on my desk, it answered my prayers.

The track is accompanied by a music video, and this is one of ten singles that will be featured on their upcoming LP. The band is taking a bit of a measured approach to this album release, with the full 10-track collection expected to be available around the Holiday season of 2024, which I personally think is perfect as it will definitely make for some great stocking stuffers.

First, I do want to make note of where the inspiration for the title of this song comes from.  As it turns out Greg Hoy & The Boys didn’t pull this title out of thin air. They’ve tipped their hat to a classic – Genesis’ ‘Dance on a Volcano’ from their 1976 album ‘A Trick Of The Tail’. Now, ‘A Trick Of The Tail’ isn’t just any old record. It’s a pretty big deal in the Genesis discography, and for good reason.

This album marked a huge moment for the band. It was their 7th studio release, but more importantly, it was the first time Phil Collins stepped up to the mic as lead vocalist after Peter Gabriel’s departure. That album was just a masterclass at how to do progressive rock. So I do think it’s kinda cool to see them pay homage to that.

But now before I digress too much, let’s get into this track. It kicks off with riff that’s gonna stick in your head, so fair warning. It’s got this easygoing vibe, but yet  there’s a bit of grit hiding in plain sight. And I mean it is pretty catchy, that kind of humming in the shower or while you’re stuck in traffic. It’s got a great flow to it, the kind that just pulls you along for the ride. And overall I just love how the song has that sort of classic and to a certain degree, I would say garage rock feel to it.

When the vocals kick in, it takes a bit of a turn. The gritty edge we heard in the opening softens just a touch, but  it doesn’t lose any of its power. Instead, it transforms into this absolute groove. The guitar work dips down into those deeper registers with the bass, for a wee bit of a full-bodied sound. This shift in the instrumental allows the vocals to really take center stage.

Which I also love the vocal work here as well. It’s got just the right amount of grit to match the instrumentals, but there’s a smoothness to it that rides the groove perfectly. and when that chorus hits, we’re treated to some really nice harmonies. As the second verse kicks in, there’s this little ticking sound that sneaks its way into the mix. Now, any fan here  is gonna perk up their ears and think, “Is that… could it be… a cowbell?” But either way,  it’s like the cherry on top of a hard rock sundae.

After the second verse, it becomes a nice little steady groove when he starts singing. There’s kind of like this slow burn build up on the percussion as he’s delivering the lines “coming out, it takes over,” etc.  Then, the melody seems to disappear for a moment, and boom! That infectious little riff I mentioned earlier pops back in, grinning like an old pal who knows exactly how to get the party started again. And from that spark, a bonfire erupts and the band pours every ounce of energy into the groove.

From start to finish, this track is a certified horn raiser. The energy is infectious, the music is top-notch, and that old school rock vibe comes in strong. The killer riff that hooks you in, that groove that gets your head nodding, and a band that sounds like they’re having the time of their lives.

To me this song seems to be a cry of someone who’s seen behind the curtain and isn’t too thrilled with what they’ve found. It’s got a healthy dose of skepticism, calling out the BS that often goes unnoticed or ignored.  It’s about a world where things aren’t always what they seem. It’s like Hoy’s standing in a room full of people, pointing at the elephant that everyone’s pretending not to see.

As the lyrics say, there’s a rat that can’t be smelled, but hey, at least it can be seen, right? The song also seems to be about the grapple with the passage of time and how perspectives change as one gets older. There are allusions to storytelling and make-believe, which could suggest examining the stories we tell ourselves or are told by others.

Also I do want to make note of the video for this track. Carissa Johnson and Fuel Heart Productions have crafted a visually striking video. We follow a nun, played by Ashley Woolley, on a blustery day at the beach. She’s seen walking along the shore, drawing a simple question mark in the sand. There’s a poignant moment where she sits on a bench, praying and seemingly pondering life’s big questions.

The story takes a turn when she wanders into a club, discovering that rock ‘n’ roll might just be the answer she’s been seeking. In a transformative moment, she sheds her nun’s attire and loses herself in the music, clearly having the time of her life.

Overall this was an absolutely fantastic track, and I’m very much looking forward to the release of the full LP.

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Scott