Jul 20, 2022

HBV is primarily known for her “I Got You Babe” duet with Joey Ramone, the impeccable “Tell That Girl to Shut Up,” and that song’s 1981 parent album, The Right to Be Italian. She is not known for a ton else. However, there’s seemingly one Holly-obsessed Albanian in every crowd, and it is from this miracle of evolution that we learn that she’s been making music (to which we have remained largely oblivious) for the last forty years. This seven-disc labor of love picks up in 1982, and is sourced from everything from commercial failures to Bandcamp mp3s. While the basic Holly formula of multi-tracked female harmonies and tugging, insistent guitar is usually present in some way, shape, or form throughout the years, the flavor tends to shift a bit with either the times or the muse: The early ’80s material sounds like it could have been all over MTV, the late ’80s stuff sounds like type of thing that college radio would have jumped on, and some of the songs she recorded with Travis Ramin sound a bit like a heavily tranquilized Donnas. And, while there are no legit lid-flippers here, there’s certainly plenty to appreciate—although far too many of the songs just wander on aimlessly like free range chickens, adding to the already sprawling feel of the project. Timbo from Mutant Pop has gone on record as saying “Holly Vincent was our Kim Shattuck.” After listening to this box set, I’m more inclined to think she was our Stevie Nicks. BEST SONG: “Folk Song.” BEST SONG TITLE: “America (I’m Wasted).” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Wisconsin band Holly And The Nice Lions were originally called “Holly and the Non-Italians” until they were ordered to cease and desist such shenanigans.–Rev. Nørb (Tiranasaurus)