Green Door Store, Brighton – 7th November 2012

The Green Door Store is a great venue, dragged right out of yesterday. Probably no larger than 20 by 30 feet, it looks like it used to be part of an old yard; its brick floor even has a draininge channel down the middle. There are ruins of old walls, empty door frames, the mixing desk stands on three old oil drums and the lighting is basic in extreme. It is also intimate and with the size of audience that would make other venues appear deserted, the mood is pleasantly buzzing.

Stockholm-based Holograms are at the beginning of a trawl around the UK to promote their excellent debut album, Holograms, released on US label Captured Tracks in early August. In it they show a rare understanding of the post punk dynamic, exploring its many facets yet emerging with something which is solid and complete despite its underlying diversity. It's a fine and intelligent piece of work, but if anyone was expecting further exploration tonight they were sorely disappointed as Holograms open up at a blistering pace which never eases through a punishingly thrilling set.

This is not just in your face punk rock; there is far more to the band's sound than that. All four Holograms are extremely proficient musicians and Filip Spetze's mini synth adds a different dimension, hinting back to the times when Modern English were harder, edgier and a little bit frightening. Guitarist Anton Spetze holds his instrument high and crouches awkwardly over it, but unleashes maelstroms of sound, while main singer Andreas Lagerström uses his bass as a weapon: neck up, neck down, neck flying around, never missing a note.

Each song is opened with the announcement of its (usually) single word title and there is little other communication until the band come to the end of an absolutely storming version of the single 'ABC City'. Then in real old school style, Andreas begs for rooms for the night as the band have nowhere to stay. "I'm not joking'" he adds, but we never thought he was. This really is how things used to be. The set gets better, faster and heavier as it draws to a conclusion. At times three vocalists sing together and this only adds to the enormity of it all. Finally, in a tornado of commotion, Filip decides to help out drummer Anton Strandberg with his playing, destroys half the drum kit and then stands on what is left whilst thrashing the hell out of it. It's absolutely great, we're loving every moment.

Had we been more local we would not only have put the band up, but probably adopted them as well. Holograms are the sort of band who make life worth living and we hope there is an awful lot more to come from them. Catch them if you can. And take them home to meet your mum.


More Live Reviews

Holograms Album Review

Photo: Gary Packham

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