Maddy Costa 

Holograms: Holograms – review

The beauty – or otherwise – of this gothy, poppy Swedish quartet is all in the eye of the beholder, writes Maddy Costa
  
  

True to their name, Swedish quartet Holograms are a shape-shifting lot: what you see in them depends on the angle from which you look. Tilt your head one way and they come across as goth-punk malcontents, a murky blur of thrashed guitars, blunt drums and vocals barked with such vehemence that they're barely comprehensible. The lyrics that do leap out communicate a fury with dead-end existence that, in closing song You Are Ancient (Sweden's Pride), seems to find succour in rightwing nationalism. Tilt the other way, however, and you notice the irony underpinning You Are Ancient, the abundance of cutesy synth riffs, and a bouncy, catchy pop lightness culled from the Ramones. Monolith makes an ambitious but jarring attempt to solder the two aspects together. More successful are the pounding Transform and ABC City, a picture of inner-city desolation rendered cheerful by a child's-play keyboard riff and bright, buzzing guitars.