Gospel Music – How to Get to Heaven From Jacksonville

January 01, 1970

(Kill Rock Stars)




There are many reasons why the moniker Owen Holmes (bassist
for indie popsters Black Kids) has chosen to record and perform under doesn’t
aptly describe his music. Most glaring is that he’s a little white waif,
strumming out twee ditties from America’s
second worst state. But most important is that he sings about a different kind
of love and devotion than hitherto expected. That is, between a man and a woman;
through his eyes, divine intervention is only a metaphor to describe what it
was that brought her through the door.


At its worst, How to Get to Heaven… is still
manageable. While it’s hard not to roll one’s eyes at “I Shared Too Much With
Her” as it apes mid-period Jonathan Richman so hard that it might as well be in
Spanish, Holmes’ wry delivery offsets the ebullience. One imagines he’d like to
be compared to Lloyd Cole more often, but that would require a dedication to
cynicism that disagrees with Holmes’s smirkless grasp of irony. Cute doesn’t
even begin to describe it. It’s ipecac for the cold hearted. But so committed
to toy instruments, lazy ass bubble gum, and Amazon jingles, Gospel Music knows
he’s not for everyone, and is clearly fine with it. As long as it gets to be
his way.


DOWNLOAD: “This Town Doesn’t Have Enough Bars For

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