Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Holograms - Holograms

Now comes a foray into a musical genre I tend to shy away from: post punk. Holograms is a Swedish band with a neat sound, some 'down' electro-vibes, and '70s throwback vocalwork.

As a subgenre I'm not used to listening to, Holograms' self-titled release comes across as unique and interesting. The electronic influences in particular strike me as appealing. They're subtle and effective, and although they don't always pop up, when they do it changes the entire feel of the track. This self-titled is generally drenched in urban despair - the hallmark of many post rock and shoegaze bands mixed with the angst of late '70s punk - and the electronic element creates some variety. "ABC City" is a wonderfully addictive track that uses an electronic synth beat to carry the melody. Others like the follow-up "Stress" are extremely dissonant. Oft littered with janky, dissonant guitarwork, these songs are appealing and jarring in the context of the album.

Still there are some more standard tracks on the album like "Apostate" and "Astray." The former features mellowed snare rolls which contrast nicely with the denser distortion applied to the energetic guitarwork. It's easily one of the heavier tracks on the album along with the absolutely janky "A Tower." This delightful track has my favorite riffs on the album. They work wonderfully with the bouncing bassline.

The synth and electro elements never become overbearing and generally serve as nuances and effective enhancements of Holograms' core sound. It's nice hearing a band use these subtleties to such a high degree of quality. The production and mixing is generous to these elements as well, and each instrument is given its fair share of the frequency platform. Contextually each track works too, which is nice. I tend to like when an artist creates a 'complete' album with their tracklist, even if it's as simple as exploring one special idea through the variety in their tracks.

Some of the tracks, although contextually fitting, are a bit dull however. The closer is a five-minute borefest for example. The aforementioned "Astray" is also completely forgettable. "Fever" luckily evolves into something more interesting than the upbeat intro riff, but sadly "Transform" never really gets there. It's a short song, and it resolves without accomplishing anything. I feel more when I listen to thirty-second grindcore tracks, and that's a bit more than mildly depressing.

I have to say the vocals definitely won't be for everyone, and they tend to carry their own melody. Good thing I'm not everyone. I'd have to say Holograms' self-titled is a success. Definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future.

7.5 out of 10


1. Monolith
2. Chasing My Mind
3. Orpheo
4.. Memories of Sweat
5. Transform
6. Apostate
7. ABC City
8. Stress
9. Astray
10. A Tower
11. Fever
12. You Are Ancient (Sweden's Pride)
Listen // Buy

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