Holograms – Forever
A year after releasing their debut album, Swedish band Holograms have returned with a new cocksure attitude and a noisy assault of an album. Bursting at the seams with youthful exuberance and frustration, Forever will appeal to those listeners already on board with the post-punk revival, but is unlikely to pack a punch strong enough to entice anyone new to the genre.
Succeeding mainly in the guitar work, the album’s monotone vocals become swiftly wearing, boasting too much 70s London affectation and often leaning too far into lazy chant. In fact, in Ättestupa the repeated call of “I’m so tired” echoes how the listener feels by track four. The first half of the record is a rampage of racing guitars, with tracks becoming somewhat indistinguishable. Rush features an incongruous Eastern influence in the melody that doesn’t sit well, while in the brash track Luminous, the vocals draw comparisons with Robert Smith, but lack his melodic sophistication or natural quirk.
Forthcoming single Flesh and Bone is melodic, epic, anthemic and messy in a positive punk way, and as such was a wise choice for a single. Meditations is a snake charmer of a track, with a hypnotic, overwrought rhythmic relationship between the guitar and melody conveying a sense of unease before the chorus hits hard and fast. After six intense tracks, Wolves finally offers a dark reprieve at a steadier pace, followed by the more atmospheric and synthy Laughter Breaks the Silence. The album closes with the more measured Lay Us Down – a sluggish and world-weary anthem to finish.
Holograms achieve an exhausting punch-drunk punk album with some clever guitars, but ultimately it lacks enough variation and original style. Suitably unsubtle cover artwork suggests a knee in the back and that’s exactly what you get, with a clip round the ear for good measure.
Forever is released on 18th September, but you can pre-order the album here.
Watch the video for Flesh and Bone here: