Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Holograms : "Forever"

I've been hunting down this album the Stockholm based punk band since it's release, even contacting their manager who is vacationing in Australia. This release sees, the punk roots intact , but the post- label is firmly in place as it has a dark spacious not confined by the raw explosion punk is normally limited to. This is displayed out the gate with the opener "Sacred State".

Things continue to drift into darker waters as the album progresses , it finds as much common ground with Joy Division and New Model Army as it does the likes of Iceage. The Iceage comparison comes as there is not the hugest classic punk influence, unless we are talking about the middle ground when bands like Suicide and Joy Division were thought of as punk.The songwriting here has much more depth and thought behind it than what you would typically think of as punk. I would even go as far as to say they are even a step ahead of other  northern euro-punkers like Iceage when it comes to the dynamic range of their song writing.The use of Keyboards on this albums adds to this fact.

"Meditations" starts pretty straight forward high tension fashion as a lot of this sort of post-punk coming out and then gets a bigger sounding hook on the chorus, but is still coming from the same zip -code as Bellicose Minds. In fact I think this band bridges the gap between bands like Bellicose Minds and bands like Lower and Iceage. They stay the course , with bass driven march on"Attestupa", the reverbed guitar lines wander around the bass, while the interplay still makes it dancey enough for goth night.

The attention to detail when it comes to making catchy songs remains intact on the more synth dominated "Luminous" the guitar line almost strays into death rock, if he had more Bela Lugosi rather than the snotty punk baritone croon he uses for most of the album, "Rush" takes things back into the tense Joy Division like propulsion. This one didn't grab much as much as the rest of the album has so far , but it grew on me by the songs end as it coalesces into more of a hooky build.

You could almost call "Wolves" a slow song , if compared with the pace the band has kept most of the album, but not a ballad by any means it falls on the more deliberate end of mid tempo. There are some really raw scraping guitar sounds on this one and it builds into loose sonic deconstruction. The more traditionally goth "Laughter Breaks the Silence" still keeps things pretty punk in the bat cave. The song drives harder than even Ian Curtis and the boys. 

At almost six minutes " A Blaze on the Hillside" is the albums longest track. A minute and a half in it breaks down from it's straight ahead punk charge , it really only breathes on the punk tom pulses, and isn't a bad song it is the most sonically and dynamically flat , with the guitar melody that surfaces halway through as the most interesting part.

"Lay us Down " closes out the album, his voice takes on a more melodic quality here and comes the closest to more thought and melody being put into his vocal approach and marks the singers high point of the album and the songs brings the album to a close with a more melodic swell. I'll go ahead and round this album up to a 10 as "A Blaze on the Hillside" is the only tune that seemed a little redundant, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt that it will grow on me.          

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