Album Review: Invasion by On Holiday

Pop-punk trio from the 405 launches full-length debut into the musicsphere

Punk music was founded on challenging the establishment. On Holiday’s latest album and first full length, Invasion continues that fine tradition of questioning the status quo. Don’t let the name fool you that On Holiday isn’t putting in the work. The trio has stayed on the pulse of current events with its latest effort.

Invasion touches on humanity’s longings for change and the vices that we turn to for comfort while remaining hopeful in the face of Going Mad (On Holiday’s 2019 EP). 

Invasion gives voice to modern unstable American political climes. With substantial content in regards to defunding police, punching Nazis, and natural wildlife conservation, you get a sense that these punks aren’t solely in the scene for pizza, beers, and having a good time. They appear to have a larger vision and might just leave the world a better place than they found it.

Defund Police” is an anthem echoing a long-time favorite theme of punks, “all cops are bastards.” This isn’t the only track where collective American societal lamentations of frustrations at social injustice, human rights violations, and general rage against the current state of affairs are heard.

 “Ska Song” is a peppy jaunt with catchy sing-along qualities underscoring much deeper mourning for lives lost to police brutality. What better anthems to demand societal and governmental reform but angry, young punk?

Skyler FlyingOut (bass and vocals), Chance Danner (guitar and vocals), and Jon Michael Jackson (drums) are true aficionados of pop-punk. Their love of the genre shines through from the core of their collective work. In vein with many punk standards and classics, their allied efforts have crafted a well-executed evocation of punk. Many comparisons can be drawn to genre forerunners in terms of tonal qualities, sound, and musical milieu. Some may be tempted to stereotype On Holiday in this regard, but that could lead to missing out on a prime example of No Coast Punk, a distilled culmination of both East and West Coast scenes.

Ofttimes punk is an exploration of the limitations of human existence and even the talent or skill of the musicians. Punk is meant to be loud, in your face, non-compliant, against the grain, and fast–not technically complex. Nevertheless, the members aren’t constrained by the limitations of their technical ability on their instruments, as they are clearly proficient musicians. On Holiday explores these commonly ascribed limitations in a more abstract manner with “Wanting More”, “Better Than This”, and “S.T.B.”, all of which reflect on personal obstacles and the need to evolve as a person.

The spirit of punk is embodied in the gruff gravel of FlyingOut’s oft abrasive vocals, which are juxtaposed and well balanced by the airy vocals of Emily Felts’ (Tribesmen) feature on “21 Days”. 

FlyingOut flourishes with bass riffs that serve as an intense heartbeat drawing the ear to focus on their frequent complexity. Danner’s driving guitar melodies are delivered with adept speed throughout Invasion. Meanwhile, Jackson’s crashing cymbals and crisp snare hits provide a sturdy backbone that fully delivers a solid sound from this 3-piece band.

On Holiday keeps the pace going strong throughout the album. Each song is designed with hooks galore, whether in a quick punching solo or more subdued breakdowns. On Holiday’s longing for the open road of their past tours, viewed from life accustomed to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, creates a wistful reminiscing for those that once enjoyed crowded pits and grimy venue bathrooms. 

The use of trippy, cute alien avatars of the band members in the art for the album (and all singles leading up to Invasion’s release) further illustrates On Holiday’s outsider view of the world with a punk mentality that highlights humanity’s errors. Punk has always been seen as a counterculture of less than reputable characters, but Invasion exemplifies the greater qualities known to those within the punk scene of community, unity, and rebellion against injustice.

Invasion was released on March 5th, 2021, and can be found on CD or Cassette or streaming online at Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music. Please follow On Holiday Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for future updates.

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MOW's Chief Playlist Weirdo & Weird Wiener Enthusiast with over two decades in the Oklahoma music scene as a venue operator, sound technician, Rock Camp instructor, and multi-instrumental artist.

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