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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Holland - 1985 Little Monsters
Holland - 1985 Little Monsters

ARTIST: Holland
ALBUM: Little Monsters
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 81259-1
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2003, Wounded Bird, WOU 1259


LINEUP: Tom Holland - vocals * Michael 'Angelo' Batio - guitars, vocals * Joey Cetner - bass, vocals * Brad Rohrssen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love In On Time * 02 High Life * 03 Middle Of A Dream * 04 Border Line * 05 Wake Up The Neighbourhood * 06 Sacrifice * 07 Gotta Run * 08 Basics Of The Bullet * 09 Keep It To Yourself * 10 I Want It

Holland was put together by Chicago based singer Tom Holland who at the time already had a major label record deal with the band The Boyzz, who then became The B'zz. Bassist Joey Cetner, guitarist Michael Batio (aka Michael Angelo) and drummer Brad Rohrssen finished the hard pop quartet. With their base in Illinois, the line-up was a strange one at that. The Boyzz/The B'zz venturing down the southern/biker rock path, while Batio had already been featured on Mike Varney's Shrapnel label as an up and coming axe-wizard (alongside fellow Chicagoan Derek Frigo). However, the overall sound and strategy behind Holland was a stable one. Obviously, because famed producer Tom Werman heard demos of the band and agreed to produce an album. The band, then signed with Atlantic Records and the production team of Tom Werman and engineer Duane Baron created this little monster called funnily enough.. 'Little Monsters'. I suppose the closest example sound-wise I can give would be many of those Californian based bands from the mid-late eighties, a la Ratt, Malice, Enuff Znuff etc.

The Songs
Tom Holland, who as it happens looks and sounds like a Jeff Paris clone ensures this album rocks big time, with an effervescent selection of tunes. 'High Life','Wake Up The Neighborhood' and 'Basics Of The Bullet' are full-frontal rockers, and Batio's widdly-diddly antics are heard to great effect. Other highlights include 'Border Line', 'Gotta Run' and 'Keep It To Yourself'. Thankfully, Batio doesn't go OTT with his guitar solos as we later heard with his Nitro project a few years later.

In Summary
The album saw limited release as a CD during 1989, but since then, no more copies were printed. Atlantic even refusing to sell the album rights back to either Tom or Mike Batio. However, Mike has done the next best thing and released a new CD version called 'Wake Up The Neighborhood'. It contains re-recorded versions of five of these tracks, plus extra demos recorded at the time. For students of lead guitar playing, note that many of the solo examples/exercises featured on Michael Angelo's Starlicks guitar instruction video are from this very album.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | rostoned on December 06 2008 23:10:33
There's a full live video concert by HOLLAND on YouTube from 1985! Start from here YouTube Video:
and then follow the links for the other tracks[/youtube]
#2 | rkbluez on January 04 2010 01:03:51
Another monster record lost by the wayside by the useless people at Atlantic/wea...this band could of and should of been huge.
#3 | rkbluez on December 11 2011 16:59:20
With Rhino's awful clipping remaster for Wounded Bird ...which is rare as the Wounded Stuff usually sounds decent and it's now OOP anyways...I'd love to see Rock Candy do this one...this band has so much history with Tom Holland and Michael Angelo I'm sure they could write a 10,000 word essay.

If ever there was a kick ass classic hard rock album...this gets my vote.
#4 | super80boy on February 15 2016 16:27:07
The combo of guitar wizard, Mike Batio and talented songwriter and vocalist Tom Holland had tons of potential that came to fruition on this great one off album. It has solid production, mixing, songwriting and obviously top notch guitar work. Side One has the catchy radio friendly 'Love In On Time', the awesome party anthem 'Wake Up The Neighborhood' and then 'High Life' with its stellar fast paced guitar work. On Side Two the simple yet passionate chorus in 'Gotta Run' and its guitar licks work flawlessly and then finally the other standout is melodic hard rocker 'Keep It To Yourself'.
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