An assured and atmospheric debut from the Swedish quartet
Stockholm-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: “[i]Standing in line/Skyline/See you fall/On concrete floors[/i]”. 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.
Holograms have something about them. They may be revisiting the fossilised concept of boredom, but they’re bringing an original perspective. New flesh, fresh blood. Not just another punk band.