Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Quick Review Of The New Holograms Album

It's been barely a year since their self-titled debut dropped but Sweden's Holograms are back with a new record. It's called Forever and it's out on September 3 on Captured Tracks.

When I listened to Forever I could tell that Holograms had a lot of records in their collection. Unfortunately, they were all by either Killing Joke or Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.

Wait, I think I see a Joy Division single back there!

I'm being a smart-ass but the truth is the truth. Holograms are not going to win any awards for taking risks. They do one or two things very well and they stick to them like glue.

Spin "Meditations" below. It's those bands I mentioned with a hint of early Bauhaus...not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

Then give "Flesh and Bone" a listen. It's more Joy Division with a nod in the direction of "Spellbound" by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Does the world need more of this stuff? I am not so sure.

"Wolves" is slow and morose and almost brooding but its pounding tribal beat gives it a nice feel which contrasts with the guitar-buzz of the rest of this record (and the last one).

Forever as a whole is less punk-y than the first album but the leap made by Holograms has hardly been comparable to the leap between Unknown Pleasures and Closer.

No. Holograms have only stripped out things. Made their sound sleeker, more mechanical. Fans of Tubeway Army would be wise to check out this record, for instance.

"Luminous" and "Rush" both have propulsive charms but back-to-back on the record and they sort of blend into each other. These tracks are best served by being dropped down into an iPod mix at random.

In that context, something like "Attestupa" will sound positively anthemic and almost catchy.

Holograms are never going to capture the magic spark of something like "Digital" by Joy Division but they are going to keep trying. You can't re-invent the wheel, can you?

Taken in small doses, the tracks on Forever have a potent fury and do sound quite ferocious -- Thank Christ they are not doing shoegaze stuff! -- but all at once the album could be a bit of a chore to sit through.

You can follow Holograms on their official website: