Holograms - Forever

Just a little bit tedious, quite repetitive and by the end, unfortunately, thoroughly forgettable.

Label: Captured Tracks

Rating: 6

Holograms are very much in vogue, and it’s not just because of Tupac’s sort-of resurrection at Coachella last year. Their veins coarse with raw, angry post-punk, fuelled by the forward propulsion of a Concorde jet engine. Oh, and they’re Swedish, too. Judging by the country’s musical output as of late there seems to be something in the Scandinavian DNA that breeds exciting innovation.

Holograms’ debut was a solid, cohesive effort, but it seemed to lack a certain sprinkle of excitement. There was really nothing to set the four lads from Stockholm apart from every other post-punk peddler and shoegazing artful dodger. It rampaged along slightly clumsily, like a punk determinedly trying to run down an extremely icy pavement, but ripping his tartan trousers in the process. On this follow up, ‘Forever’, they sound richer and more energetic than ever before, but they’re still not quite a physical, tangible force. Holograms are slightly out of reach, and it’s hard to connect on any meaningful level when an extended arm can cut straight through their flickery silhouette like a ghost.

A vague, gloomy sense of anger hangs over ‘Forever’ like a feathery plume, a billowing cloud, an airborne toxic event. Holograms write claustrophobic music with a jet black core, and flecks of white noise swarming hungrily around the fringes. One track, ‘Ättestupa’, takes its name from a steep Nordic precipice where elderly people apparently got hurled to their deaths because they were no longer able to support themselves. It’s deliberately caustic and isolated stuff. That’s not necessarily a criticism. Music of devastating darkness can be hugely affecting.

This album has all the right ingredients, but like the debut, the fireworks seem a little absent. The main issue with Holograms is that they don’t seem to create anything memorable out of their nihilistic destruction, least of all an emotional response. ‘Forever’ is just a little bit tedious, quite repetitive and by the end, unfortunately, thoroughly forgettable.