Words About Music
A little over a year ago, the world was introduced to Swedish post-punk band Holograms, who unleashed their incredible self-titled debut to much critical acclaim. But in a world where bands such as Iceage and Savages, who play similar music, are getting much more recognition (and deservedly so), it could be easy to forget about how great Holograms are. So, they decided to quickly follow up their first album with a new album, entitled “Forever.” And let me say, if their self-titled album is their “Unknown Pleasures,” then “Forever” is their “Movement.”
Stylistically speaking, “Forever” doesn’t differ that much from “Holograms,” apart from a few tweaks, such as the addition of synthesizers on a couple tracks, and a slowed tempo. Other than that, “Forever” is a great, dark post-punk record that doesn’t sound much like a tribute and more like Holograms are doing exactly what they want to do, which is stick out in a world of Iceage and Savages. The first half of the album is definitely more straightforward and powerful punk music laced with reverb, phasers, and songs that sometimes feel agoraphobic and sometimes feel claustrophobic. There’s also definitely some triumph within these tracks, which is understandable considering the buzz their debut album achieved.
Now when it comes to post-punk, Holograms aren’t the noisiest band or the most chaotic band or even the most creative band, but the lyrics are well written and the music is tight, well performed, and well produced. And I know I said this is less of a tribute and more of Holograms doing what they want, but I can’t help but think of the opening bass line of “She’s Lost Control” by Joy Division when I hear “Flesh and Bone,” which dips the clean opening bass line in phasers.
“Forever” won’t be my favorite album of the year, and it definitely won’t be my favorite post-punk album of the year (I’m afraid Iceage and Savages have won this round), but it’s definitely a worthwhile release and is certainly not a sophomore slump. It’s great that Holograms are open to experimentation, and I’m definitely looking forward to their next release. I probably won’t listen to this album for forever, but I’ll definitely put it on time and time again because it’s well performed, consistent, and proves their worth amongst some more recognizable post-punk bands.
SCORE – 7.8
FAVORITE TRACKS – A Sacred State, Meditations, Ättestupa, Rush, Wolves, Laughter Breaks the Silence, Lay Us Down