Another Day Another Tiny Ruins Gem

It seems like single after single that Tiny Ruins craft another gem that is destined for repeated listens throughout my day. On their latest tune, there’s a dominating performance from Hollie Fullbrook, but the little details hanging in the air are what make the song. I love the way the guitar lines sort of dangle and twist in the air, matched by the breathy backing “oohs” that added this dreamy quality to the track. I’m just going to keep fawning over this group until their huge, then I’ll say the first album was better…that or I’ll just up my hype when Olympic Girls hits on February 1st via Ba Da Bing.

PYAITK Jam From Holograms

It is almost the weekend.

ACL is done (though I have even more pics to share). FFF8 is next. We have some cool shows in between. The weather is cooler. There is we stuff in creeks and rivers that have been dry for months. Pretty exciting. …and OU still sucks.

I am in a pretty good mood. So I bring you a crinkly song that is a follow up to the “Flesh and Bone” that should have posted a while ago, but whatever. Holograms is Scandanavian punk. Dig it.

Holograms Bring Us Scandinavian Punk

hologramsI’ve really been digging this new track “Flesh & Bone” from Stockholm based experimental punk group Holograms since it dropped yesterday.  It makes me think of what might happen if you mixed the hardcore tendencies of a band like Iceage with the more atmospheric qualities of a band like We Were Promised Jetpacks.  If that’s a terrible comparison, check it out for yourself and make your own description.

New album, Forever, will hit the streets on September 3rd via Captured Tracks.

Top Albums of 2012: 100-51

It’s really hard to narrow down a list of Top Albums of 2012, especially when you have four contributors with different opinions.  We gave the reins to Nathan.Lankford and Nicole Baumann on this one, since they write the majority of the album reviews, but we all have a little representation within this.  Now, we do realize that our site has specialized tastes, so please realize that these are our OPINIONS.  You’re welcome to disagree, and, in fact, we encourage that process.  Also, we’re doing a Top 100 because so many records came out this year, it wouldn’t be fair to narrow it down.  Not to mention it might lead you to discover some hits you hadn’t heard about yet. Oh, and we don’t really like Frank Ocean or hip-hop…just a personal choice…here’s the first segment.

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Holograms – s/t

Rating: ★★★★ ·

When you get a record from Captured Tracks, you sort of know what you’re getting into, but Holograms, one of the newest bands on the label, are here to change your preconceived notions.  Their self-titled debut is dark, but it’s definitely fueled by a punk sensibility that provides listeners with an angst ridden record you can throw on to lift your spirits.

“Monolith” is the second longest track on the record, and it comes with a great sense of foreboding. A bass line slowly moves in just before you get the swirl of the angry guitar sound.  Hollow vocals dictate a more industrial feeling, and then they blast forward.  Energy, distortion, brash youthfulness; it’s all there. But, then “Chase My Mind” comes into play, giving more of a traditional pop sensibility to Holograms. Light synthesizers and a steady drumbeat provide little bits of a propulsive hook.  It’s the sort of track that energizes you; it encourages you to appreciate the vibrance that underlies a great deal of punk rock.

One of the things that differentiates this self-titled affair is its reliance upon a tradition that encourages anthemic choruses, no matter how angry and bitter the music may sound. Take a track like “ABC City” and you immediately feel the bass growing in your speakers, and as the band jettisons off, you’re tossed back to an era when frivolous pogoing was popular.  Even the lyrics have a tendency to be screamed at the top of your lungs, though the Swedish accents make it a touch more difficult to perfect your sing-a-long. Holograms even seem to have captured the swagger that I adored in my punk rock heroes growing up, which is sometimes lacking in modern acts.  “Fever,” for instance, is a pretty straight forward punk rock tune, but the vocal delivery reeks of cockiness (or brattiness if you like) and as you listen you can feel the grin creeping upon your face. Still, the band’s not just content to revel in the past.

A great deal of the record also has that industrial post-punk sound, which honestly revolves a great deal around the way the vocals are recorded.  They seem distant on a track like “Memories of Sweat” where the swirling guitars and pounding drums do the body of the song’s work.  There’s a primal element to the track, giving it a raw emotion that makes it endearing to listeners. Some might find that the recording of such tracks weakens the effort, but I think it’s quite the contrary, allowing the band’s songwriting and vibrant energy to push beyond the limits of your speakers.

Holograms is a record that warms your heart as you listen, especially if you consider yourself voiced in the annals of punk rock.  What makes it thoroughly enjoyable though is that it goes beyond some of the typical stereotypes, adding a darker element that often goes missing in modern renditions of the style.  Still, Holograms have given you hooks too, which will make any listener swoon; it makes for a great record that you’ll soon learn to love.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Chasing-My-Mind.mp3]

Download:Holograms – Chasing My Mind [MP3]

 

Dark Proto-Pop from Holograms

I’m going to tell you right now that we’re going to have some happier tunes on the site today, so I had to kick off the day with something a little bit edgier, you know, just to keep my rep as the resident rock intact. The Swedish group Holograms has just signed with Captured Tracks (one of our faves), and they’ll be releasing the band’s self-titled debut on July 19th.  This has a bit more of a punk rock feeling than a lot of the current bands working on CT, but still combines a bit of that dance element that keeps the whole world happy.  It’s a fine line, but when it’s walked this well, you’re just going to fall in love.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Chasing-My-Mind.mp3]

Download:Holograms – Chasing My Mind [MP3]