A versatile writer, Russ Holsten shines most in the nearly 100 music reviews he’s written since joining SLUG.
January 5, 2022

Contributor Limelight: Russ Holsten

Russ Holsten has been one of SLUG’s most consistent and dedicated music writers since 2016. A versatile writer, Holsten shines most in the nearly 100 music reviews he’s written since joining. As comfortable with punk and alt-rock as he is pop, noise, metal or country, Holsten has long provided a driving force behind SLUG’s music coverage, and we can’t wait for what’s come!

Articles by contributor

Local Review: frick. – frick.

Local Review: frick. – frick.
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At first listen of frick.’s debut album, I asked myself, “What are these cats so angry at?,” before I quickly realized I’m angry at the exact same things, too. … read more

Local Review: The Apathetics – Last Rites

Local Review: The Apathetics – Last Rites
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What do all punk rockers do when they reach middle age? They give up all the rage and embrace the misery. … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: January 2024

Local Music Singles Roundup: January 2024
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January’s Local Music Singles Roundup is the perfect selection to hammer out those New Year’s resolutions or curl up on the couch and mourn your youth—whatever you’re in the mood for. … read more

Local Review: No Such Animal – The Entertainer

Local Review: No Such Animal – The Entertainer
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No Such Animal moves like a wrecking ball into the future with hints of late ’80s hard-rock reinvention, ’90s aggressive progressiveness and early ’00s power-pop walls of sound. … read more

Set in Stone: An Interview with Nick Jost of Baroness

Set in Stone: An Interview with Nick Jost of Baroness
By

With Baizley’s deep, blistering lyrics, Gleason’s insane guitar playing and the best rhythm section in hard music composed of Jost and Thomson, Baroness will never go gentle into that good night. … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: October 2023

Local Music Singles Roundup: October 2023
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All Hollow’s Eve is creeping in on us foolish mortals once again. SLUG is ditching the tricks and dishing out some raving treats in the October edition of our Local Music Singles Roundup! … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: September 2023

Local Music Singles Roundup: September 2023
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Whether you’re into funk, indie rock or anything in between, SLUG Mag has got you covered with September’s roundup. … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: July 2023

Local Music Singles Roundup: July 2023
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As we enter into the peak of the Utah summer heat, chill out and cool off with six selections from July’s Local Music Singles Roundup! … read more

Local Review: Pixie And The Partygrass Boys – The Chicken Coop Vol. 1

Local Review: Pixie And The Partygrass Boys – The Chicken...
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Pixie And The Partygrass Boys = Thelma Houston + Charlie Daniels + Nitty Gritty Dirt Band … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: June 2023

Local Music Singles Roundup: June 2023
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Kick back and relax poolside with this month’s singles from incredibly talented local artists—you’ve earned it. … read more

Local Review: ECHOES FROM THE VALLEY

Local Review: ECHOES FROM THE VALLEY
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Featuring over a dozen bands from the early ’00s, ECHOES FROM THE VALLEY compilation is equal part lost aughts treasures and equal part fresh bangers for 2023. … read more

Gold Mining the DC Scene with On Repeat Recordings

Gold Mining the DC Scene with On Repeat Recordings
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On Repeat Recordings began as a means for revisiting and reamplifying the artists from this era through reissues of their rarely heard records. … read more

Review: Shana Cleveland – Manzanita

Review: Shana Cleveland – Manzanita
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Shana Cleveland = Cat Stevens + Alice Coltrane + Richard Brautigan … read more

Invasion of the Death Valley Girls

Invasion of the Death Valley Girls
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Being in orbit with Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden is like swimming in the super infinite with a galactic white witch that transcends space and time. … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: December 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: December 2022
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SLUG Magazine has your December tunes covered with six new songs by turns shocking and seasonal to give all your winter activities a perfect snowy soundtrack. … read more

Review: ONO – Kate Cincinnati

Review: ONO – Kate Cincinnati
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Kate Cincinnati is a masterpiece composed by P. Michael Grego (keyboards, electronics and percussion), Ric Graham (mostly horns and guitar) and travis (vocals). … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: October 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: October 2022
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Take a listen to these fang-tastic local singles from Blair Street, Icky Rogers, Jazzy Olivo, The Plastic Cherries and more eerie-sistible artists. … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: September 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: September 2022
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These six new tracks accompany all of the moods heading into the new season: a blanket burrito and a cup of tea OR a brisk walk outside with a friend. … read more

Review: Cinema Hearts – Your Ideal

Review: Cinema Hearts – Your Ideal
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Cinema Hearts = Ronnie Spector + Liz Phair + Shannon and the Clams … read more

Full Circle with Joshua James

Full Circle with Joshua James
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Joshua James has a touch of magic and warmth about him. His self sufficient soul makes him the perfect person to headline the 14th Annual DIY Fest. … read more

Review: Katie Alice Greer – Barbarism

Review: Katie Alice Greer – Barbarism
By

Katie Alice Greer = PJ Harvey + Nitzer Ebb + Earthling-era David Bowie … read more

Review: Scout Island – Laurentian Voyage

Review: Scout Island – Laurentian Voyage
By

Scout Island = Peter Buck + early/mid-era New Order + The Church … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: May 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: May 2022
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Get your fix with our Local Music Singles Roundup! Take a ride with these six musicians as they celebrate their new releases and gear up to be wheel blown away. … read more

Review: Oceanator – Nothing’s Ever Fine

Review: Oceanator – Nothing’s Ever Fine
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Oceanator = Skunk Anansie + Jeff Rosenstock + Ocatavia E. Butler … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: April 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: April 2022
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Our Beer Issue Local Music Singles Roundup offers six new lager-than-life singles to listen to—we’re sure at least one of them will make your heart malt. … read more

Review: A Place to Bury Strangers – See Through You

Review: A Place to Bury Strangers – See Through You
By

A Place To Bury Strangers = Danielle Ash + Brian Jonestown Massacre … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: January 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: January 2022
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Another month means another edition of SLUG’s Local Music Singles Roundup, so spring into the new year with these fresh new bops. … read more

Local Music Singles Roundup: December 2021

Local Music Singles Roundup: December 2021
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With this month’s Local Music Singles Roundup, you put your headphones on and, as these songs begin to fill your ears, you close your eyes … … read more

Top Five Folk/Traditional Albums that Kick Up New Dust: Adia Victoria – A Southern Gothic

Top Five Folk/Traditional Albums that Kick Up New Dust: Adia...
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Adia Victoria = R.L. Burnside + Erykah Badu + Terrence Trent D’arby … read more

Crucialfest: Year 10

Crucialfest: Year 10
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This year, local hard rock/metal festival Crucialfest will celebrate its 10th anniversary with Crucialfest 10, Aug. 26–29. … read more

Review: Liz Phair – Soberish

Review: Liz Phair – Soberish
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Liz Phair = Karen Carpenter + Steely Dan + Sufjan Stevens … read more

Review: black midi – Cavalcade

Review: black midi – Cavalcade
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black midi = Frank Zappa And The Mother’s Of Invention + Flying Lotus + Charlie Parker … read more

Local Review: Joel Willes – Ambition and Glory

Local Review: Joel Willes – Ambition and Glory
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Joel Willes = King Dude + Amigo The Devil + Hiss Golden Messenger … read more

Review: Winkie – Come to My Party

Review: Winkie – Come to My Party
By

Winkie describe their music as the sound of drowning, imagery reflected on the cover of their second full-length album. Come To My Party is an invitation. It’s definitely not an invitation to a party with balloons and frosted cakes with kids from school giving you hastily bought presents from the thrift store. This party is more like a meat grinder with strobe lights. … read more

Review: The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

Review: The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset
By

The Julie Ruin = The Ventures + Perfect Pussy + John Lydon

… read more

Review: The Breeders – All Nerve

Review: The Breeders – All Nerve
By

The Breeders + The Amps + Throwing Muses + Little Trouble Girl … read more

Review: Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive

Review: Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive
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Superchunk What A Time To Be Alive Merge Records Street: 02.16 Superchunk = Slushpuppies + Pavement Superchunk formed in the college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1989. They never truly left. For the last 29 years, this influential band has kept their heads just under the radar. Superchunk were an indie band before

Review: Shana Cleveland: Night of the Worm Moon

Review: Shana Cleveland: Night of the Worm Moon
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Shana Cleveland = Alice Coltrane + Sun Ra + Octavia E. Butler … read more

Review: Mike and the Melvins – Three Men And A Baby

Review: Mike and the Melvins – Three Men And A...
By

Mike and the Melvins = godheadSilo + Melvins circa 1999 + Melvins circa 2016
… read more

Review: Lydia Loveless – REAL

Review: Lydia Loveless – REAL
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Lydia Loveless = Lindi Ortega + Maria Mckee / Lone Justice … read more

Review: Lucifer – Lucifer II

Review: Lucifer – Lucifer II
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Lucifer = Black Sabbath + Stevie Nicks + Blue Oyster Cult … read more

Review: La Luz – Floating Features

Review: La Luz – Floating Features
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La Luz = Dick Dale and His Del-tones + Shannon And The Clams … read more

Review: Juliana Hatfield – weird

Review: Juliana Hatfield – weird
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Juliana Hatfield = Olivia Newton John + Liz Phair + Matthew Sweet … read more

Review: Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions – Until the Hunter

Review: Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions – Until the...
By

Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions = The Sunday’s + Lana Del Rey + Mazzy Star … read more

Local Review: Paul Jacobsen And The Madison Arm

Local Review: Paul Jacobsen And The Madison Arm
By

Paul Jacobsen And The Madison Arm = Patterson Hood + Hiss Golden Messenger … read more

Review: Angel Olsen – Whole New Mess

Review: Angel Olsen – Whole New Mess
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Angel Olsen = Marianne Faithful + Patsy Cline + Roy Orbison … read more

Local Review: Tassellhoff – Turbo Hippie

Local Review: Tassellhoff – Turbo Hippie
By

Tassellhoff = A Danielle Ash guitar + Unplugged-Era Nirvana … read more

Local Review: Sex Room – InSnaketicide

Local Review: Sex Room – InSnaketicide
By

Sex Room = Love And Rockets + Ramones + early Nirvana … read more

Local Review: Johnny Betts – There Are No “A” Sides

Local Review: Johnny Betts – There Are No “A” Sides
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Johnny Betts unfolds stories like sermons (with the preaching sucked out), using figures from Christian mythology in his lyrics. “There Are No ‘A’ Sides” contains love, loss, God and stories from the good book. Homegrown and emerging, Betts is a soon-to-be favorite. … read more

Local Review: Fat Candice – Fat Candice(Stars)

Local Review: Fat Candice – Fat Candice(Stars)
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They are masters at yanking at your music-memory strings and then shifting what’s familiar, turning it inside out, and making that sound their own. … read more

Review: Marissa Nadler, Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower

Review: Marissa Nadler, Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower
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The songs on Droneflower play out like unpredictable pendulum swings. Some songs slither out soft-like and acoustic headed toward a metal grind that never comes, while others sound like raking gravel that Nadler barely tries to soften out. … read more

Review: The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger

Review: The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger
By

The Raconteurs = The Eagles + The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion … read more

Local Review: Mother Lights – Night Magic

Local Review: Mother Lights – Night Magic
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The instrumentation on Night Magic allows the perfect support for Mother Lights’ powerful words that makes this quiet album loud and clear. … read more

Local Review: The Painted Roses – The Sad Man

Local Review: The Painted Roses – The Sad Man
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The Painted Roses = Hank Williams + Hiss Golden Messenger … read more

Review: Arbor Labor Union – I Hear You

Review: Arbor Labor Union – I Hear You
By

Arbor Labor Union = Neil Young and Crazy Horse + Queens of the Stone Age
… read more

Kevin Morby – Oh My God

Kevin Morby – Oh My God
By

Kevin Morby = Leonard Cohen + The Beatles + Bob Dylan’s Jesus phase … read more

Review: Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence

Review: Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence
By

Chelsea Wolfe = Lana Del Ray + Emma Ruth Rundle + Black Sabbath … read more

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: An Interview with The Paranoyds

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: An Interview with The...
By

The Paranoyds live act is kinetic and explosive. The best way to describe it would be to compare them to flame throwers in a Quentin Tarantino movie. … read more

Hurting and Healing: An interview with Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender

Hurting and Healing: An interview with Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender...
By

Teri Gender Bender spoke with me on a lazy afternoon about such topics as: her band, Le Butcherettes and their phenomenal new album bi/MENTAL. … read more

Celebrating 10 Years of Record Store Day

Celebrating 10 Years of Record Store Day
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Vinyl has found a revival, and with that revival, vinyl saved the independent record store. Come out and support Record Store Day on April 22, and visit recordstoreday.com for more info. … read more

Melissa Collins: The Life of a Luthier

Melissa Collins: The Life of a Luthier
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Melissa Collins is a local luthier that practices her art out of her home workshop. She specializes in the making of the viola, cello and violin. Collins moved to Salt Lake City in 2010 to enroll in the The Violin Making School Of America, a renowned luthier school in the heart of our city. This

Kid Curry Spirits and the Wild West

Kid Curry Spirits and the Wild West
By

In 1904, Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan, an American outlaw who ran with the wildest of the wild. 112 years later, the Wild Bunch has reformed in West Valley City to create Kid Curry Vodka: a vodka with the spirit of the West, the earthy mineral base of Rocky Mountain, and a luxury taste. … read more

Behind My Damage: An Interview with Keith Morris

Behind My Damage: An Interview with Keith Morris
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My Damage: The Story Of A Punk Rock Survivor, by Keith Morris and Jim Ruland, is the story of a Southern California surf rat caked in city grime and the cool ocean breeze … … read more

Bad Brad Wheeler: Dealin’ The Blues

Bad Brad Wheeler: Dealin’ The Blues
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Bad Brad Wheeler is one of the most respected and beloved members of our community. Aged 44, Wheeler is host and producer of the Little Bit Louder Now weekday-afternoon KRCL show. … read more

Review: NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories

Review: NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories
By

NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories wears you out. The book is absurd and disgusting and all the reasons I loved it. These lovable idiots get pushed through a meat grinder and somehow, some way, come out alive, whole and somewhat clean on the other end. … read more

John Moreland: Staying High On Tulsa Heat

John Moreland: Staying High On Tulsa Heat
By

I don’t fear getting lumped into that. I don’t care—people can lump me into whatever they want. It’s not going to change what I do. I don’t think country is the most accurate thing to call my music, but it doesn’t bother me if that’s what people will call me. … read more