Terribly Empty Pockets
Gig Seeker Pro

Terribly Empty Pockets


Band Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"CDR 7" Reviews"

"Terribly Empty Pockets' Sexy World (Columbus Discount 7") moves like very early Flying Nun stuff - keyboard wobble, incredibly nice buried pop hooks and all..." - The Wire (7" review Issue #265)

"Terribly Empty Pockets - Get Wet"

Those with deep music collections will short-circut their iPods while perplexing over terribly Empty Pockets' five-song debut. Each track forces awkwardly modified descriptions (a cheerier Felt, a jangle pop Wilderness, a twee Talking Heads), which can only mean that the Columbus, Ohio, quintet is winning the war against reference points. - Magnet (EP review - Issue #73)

"Bands To Watch - Terribly Empty Pockets"

If it seems like pop songwriting has been neglected for too long, Terribly Empty Pockets are making up for it with plenty of well-crafted coddling. The five-piece Columbus outfit is responsible for soem of the most beguiling music being created around these parts.

Lead singer and guitarist Josh Holt and keyboardist and backing vocalist Sarah BB began playing under the Terribly Empty Pockets name a couple years back, but the band didn't come to full fruition until last spring with the influx of guitarist Ben Colburn, drummer Ryan Jewell, and Justin Riley on Wurlitzer electric piano.

Playing around town with increasing frequency, the band infused songwriter Holt's love-lost laments with a fetching elixer blended from sparkling melodies and intricate instrumentation. Belying their moniker, the the Terribly Empty Pockets can be found a good-and-plentiful mix of poignant couplets sung in Holt's wavering voice, catchy guitar nodes and snappy rhythms underpinned by twinkling keyboard tones, BB's cooing backing vocals and aucoustic guitar strums. It all makes the charms of songs like "Sweet When You Were Young" impossible to ignore. - Columbus Alive (January '06)

"Terribly Empty Pockets - Get Wet EP Review"

Bearing the distinction of being co-released by the leading indies in Columbus, the Terribly Empty Pockets make their debut with an EP of varying lengths depending on what format you purchase. (The vinyl features three more songs than the five-song CD, "Heart Attack," "Help Is on the Way" and "Physiology," making it closer to LP length.) Talking Heads comparisons are inevitable given singer Josh Holt's nervous energy on stage and hiccuppy vocals bearing more than a little resemblance to those of David Byrne and the band's quirky songs not about buildings and food. Throw the Bats into those analogies and you're on track, making for a record equally smart and infectious. (www.anyway-records.com/www.columbusdiscountrecords.com)
by Stephen Slaybaugh - Big Takeover Magazine (Issue #59)

"Terribly Empty Pockets (US) - Get Wet Review"

I stumbled upon the Terribly Empty Pockets after getting a tip from a friend about some mp3 uploading site. Upon first listen, I was immediately hooked and continued to be for the following five consecutive listens. Trying to describe them is rather difficult; since they weave such a rich display of influence it becomes difficult to point each one out. As is the case with many indie musicians, all of these influences are worn on the sleeve, but the ease in which they surpass, blend, and mix the limits is their selling point.

The first song, Boys Club, is an upbeat foot stomper with energetic guitar strumming, clean, quick drum beats, and a voice that sounds a lot like David Byrne. It’s a fast paced number that never stops to catch its breath, always changing tempos from chorus to verse but with a fluidity that makes you wonder how this could be a band’s debut album. The song has a very lively attitude about it, and as the song progresses, it displays a very keen sense of melody and transition. And that’s only the first song!

The rest of the EP is loaded with hooks just like the first song, and it never lets up. To try and analyze each song would be silly, as it plays like a greatest hits compilation. The one song that I do take to heart the most, however, is the last song on the album, ‘When You Die’. The lead singer’s voice is not quite as harsh as on the other songs and the duet with Ms. Sarah BB (who sings lead on ‘Brother’), coupled with the dreamy guitar and soft electric piano makes for a song to get lost in. It’s hazy, nostalgic, yet treads the fine line between being reflective and morose.

I would like to point out that all of these songs are catchy, fun, and will stay with you long after you’re done listening to them. I myself have it in rotation every day; I have honestly yet to find a fault with this album. In fact, if you don’t find yourself humming the lines from ‘Brother’ (My brother is the only son of a penniless cock eyed shrew / My brother got nothin’ much to lose / Please don’t make me choose…), I promise to fast for three days. I have so much faith in my judgment that these guys will rock the stitching off your socks I’m betting my appetite on it. So please, take a listen and enjoy it, my well-being depends on it.

<3 ~Tyler

- Big Rock Finish (May '07)

"Terribly Empty Pockets will rule the world"


I've been missing something in my life, something cutesy, clever and catchy. Something by turns gruesome, gleeful and graceful. I've been living for months without the Terribly Empty Pockets, and thank God I don't have to do so any longer.

Two years ago, Alive selected the Pockets as one of its "Bands to Watch." I wasn't on the staff then, but the people who were made a brilliant selection. I discovered the band around the same time when they came down to Athens, and I was immediately impressed with their subtle, well-arranged songs, unusual lineup (two keyboards, no bass) and kooky stage presence. Singer Josh Holt did his best David Byrne, drummer Ryan Jewell's face was overcome by mad elation and keyboardist Sarah BB swayed with a cool that can't be cultivated. Guitarist Ben Colburn and keyboardist Justin Riley seemed to bleed into the music as they focused on their parts.

Watching and listening over the next year and some change only amplified my appreciation for the five-piece. Great new songs kept coming, and the already solid live entity matured from rookie standout to a perennial all-star. I obtained as much of their slim recorded output as I could—the potential-soaked Go To Bed Early CD-R, the masterful Sexy World 7-inch, a leaked copy of their debut album that eventually was pared down to the Get Wet EP. After that EP came out in June, I hoped the group would finally head back to the studio to record their real debut full-length. Instead, Sarah BB skipped the country to examine some excavated artifacts in Portugal.

When the Pockets finally emerged from slumber on Oct. 21, I was out of town. Thankfully, they were quick to appear again, performing at a Halloween party last night in Clintonville's Wholly Craft. The nine-song set showed the Pockets have not been sitting idly by these last few months. In addition to the wonderful "Tiny View," "Trucks" and "Sexy World," the band trotted out a batch of new songs that showed startling maturity while maintaining the charming, childlike quality they've cultivated.

With each new song, my grin grew broader as the Pockets' prowess grew more and more evident. These five are a continuing testament that not only is Columbus blessed with an immensely talented roster of indie and punk acts right now, but that the city's musical climate can produce masterful works outside of the longstanding template that calls for noisy, sloppy whiskey-swigging punk. If this band doesn't rule the (relatively small, insular) world (of indie rock) someday, it won't be the first such injustice, but it will be one of the worst.

The Pockets next take the stage with the similarly awesome Necropolis and Houseguest Friday, Nov. 17 at Cafe Bourbon Street in a show that is not to be missed.

- Columbus Alive (Online show review - November '06)


Get Wet- CD EP released on CDR/Anyway Records
Get Wet - Vinyl EP with bonus tracks released on CDR/Anyway Records

Sexy World/Trucks - 7" on Columbus Discount Records

Go To Bed Early - CD EP Self Released


Feeling a bit camera shy


Chapter One: The Conversation
Ryan sighed impatiently. "It's tough to say without sounding overly sachrine, because it's not so straightforward as New Zeleand pop, twee pop, or jangle pop in the strictest sense. More like a chocolate covered coffee bean."
Sarah narrowed her eyes, wary of all food metaphors. "Let me guess, sweet AND bitter?"
Ryan grinned, "All the best pop is."
Seated on the bank of the Portsmouth flood wall, the band looked across the wide and muddy river at the far bank of Kentucky, scarred with decades of coal mining and logging. Southern Ohio summers being what they are, no one moved much. Any casual onlooker with knowledge of the musical history of the state could point out that these kids, sprawled in the patchy scrub grass, resembled none of their forbearers. No Mothersbaughs or Hyndes here, no Ubu or Ayler, no Pollard or Li'l Bow Wow. Immediately bored of diseccting themselves, they had already begun to rank episodes of the Adventures of Pete & Pete: the greatest tv show of all time.

Chapter Two: Getting Pinned Down
"Okay, but you have to say SOMETHING about what you sound like or people will become annoyed with you." Other people always have suggestions.
Tentatively, a list was made of pertinent comments.
1. Woozy Keyboards
2. Jangle pop guitars
3. Melodies knee-deep
4. Lyrics that belie an urgent and chosen naiveté- a concious decision to remain confused and delighted at any given moment.

Chapter Three: Resignation
Over coffee in Columbus, it became obvious that decribing the band was less and less amusing to the members.
"We DO have records out on CDR and some nice press," pointed out Josh, "don't you think pop music should just speak for itself?"
"People like it," Ben added. "Now back to business- if two episodes that featured the Apples in Stereo and the Magnetic Fields were shown back to back, could they even begin to compare to the Polaris performance on 'Hard Day's Pete'?"