Review : Holograms - Holograms
PitchforkHolograms first surfaced under a veil of anonymity. As soon as Captured Tracks heard a demo, the label signed them, released their first single, shared a video, and pretty much said "stay tuned." Then, because it's 2012 and that's how things are done now, the band revealed who they were: four twenty-somethings from Stockholm. Interviews with Holograms shared a common theme: "The band's members are all very poor right now." And thus far, their story's revolved around an unfortunate series of incidents: Their van got broken into on a support tour, they were stranded in France for almost two weeks with no money, they can't afford decent gear, and they're not sure if they'll be able to obtain work visas to tour the United States.
It's fitting, then, that in addition to offering synth-driven songs that nod to post-punk and hardcore, the themes and overall tone of Holograms' self-titled debut are ridiculously weighty. The most obvious example is "You Are Ancient (Sweden's Pride)", which lays out their country's history (Vikings, rape, Lutheran fearmongering) as something to be ashamed of. There's "Memories of Sweat", a hellish industrialization song carried by an urgent, ominous riff. The churning basher "ABC City" is centered around the words "isolation" and "desolation." These themes are sung with a strong monolithic confidence, usually with two or three voices in unison. Taking on such onerous subject matter is a bold move for a young band to make on their first full-length....full text
ConsequenceofsoundStockholm could be a real shit place to live. Daylight enthusiasts might love the summers — they get up to 18 hours there around that time — but in the winter, they’d be lucky to grab around six. It’s also not exactly a welcoming slogan when the National Board of Health and Welfare announces that suicide is the leading cause of death between ages 15 and 24, a statistic that’s actually increased with younger demographics. Somehow an outfit like Holograms has survived, more or less.
“Stockholm is a little close-minded,” bassist/vocalist Andreas Lagerström told us recently. ”There’s not that many people that liked us much here, or no one really cared.” Christ, right? It gets worse. Lagerström, drummer Anton Strandberg, guitarist/vocalist Anton Spetze, and synth player Filip Spetze came together after working in a factory. If that weren’t Orwellian enough, they’ve spent their recent times “on the edge of poverty,” fearing that “there’s a right wing movement on the rise” across Sweden, as Lagerström indicated. So, yeah, their debut for Captured Tracks is a pretty big deal for them....full text
NmeStockholm-based quartet Holograms carry all the signifiers of Just Another Punk Band – the ‘head so hollow’ vocals, the chugging guitars, the factory floor boredom. But it’s well worth pulling all those threads apart. Enmeshed in their sound, underneath what appears to be simplicity, there are sinews of context and history to unravel. Listen hard and the power of influence combined with the band’s new flesh-fresh blood and pure emotion begins to reveal itself. Delve deep into the background layers, and the songs on ‘Holograms’ recall the distant nihilism of distant days. There are echoes of Australia’s Murder Punk bands, the industrial gloom of Joy Division, the grand ‘fuck you’ of the Bowery bums and the cold, grey sneer of London. There is more to this emergent Swedish band, though, than a well-thumbed copy of Maximum Rocknroll.
There’s a tension running through ‘Holograms’ that cannot be fabricated. A sense of desperation and urban entrapment. Opening track ‘Monolith’ starts out on the slow burn: “Standing in line/Skyline/See you fall/On concrete floors”. They cast a grey shadow over the foreseeable landscape and it doesn’t get any less grim from there on in. The tracks are lifted, sonically, by playtime synthesisers. ‘ABC City’ is beautifully arpeggiated, broken by boisterous vocals and laid to waste in modern desolation. ‘Memories Of Sweat’ shows their ability to sidestep the obvious, paving space in their songs for imagery and emotion, somehow managing to be both vacant and explosive, as well as sexy....full text
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