A year plus on after the release of their debut LP, Sweden’s Holograms have returned with their second full length, Forever. After a year and a half of touring, losing their jobs, parts of their sanity and returning home only with the hope that their hard work will eventually pay off, they embarked on a new record drawing from the experiences that had simultaneously excited and exhausted the members.

Frontmen Andreas Lagerström (vocals/bass) and Anton Strandberg (drums) still live in working class Farsta, 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of urbane and metropolitan Stockholm while the brothers’ Spetze (Anton: vocals/guitar, Filip: synth) still live at home. This isolation and boredom after their first international tours led the group to further mature and grow their sound into a record far more cohesive and “big-sounding” than their debut. The band aimed to capture the feeling of music being played in a church or temple, “like a mass…procession, or eulogy” as clearly demonstrated on closing track “Lay Us Down.” Though matured and experienced, the band’s youthful energy and DiY/Punk upbringing is still upfront and in full effect with the caustic “A Sacred State,” the melodic attack of “Rush,” or the unbridled mass-of-energy-cut-loose of “A Blaze on the Hillside.” Clearly, Holograms show no signs of slowing down the excitement and aggression of their original sound, something to delight their growing audience in this current world of arrogant sonic about-faces on sophomore albums.

Forever is more than the next set of songs from Holograms. It’s a fully realized album that fans will relish for years to come. Songwriting and anthemic choruses as classic as the William Bouguereau painting they chose as the basis of their cover, though presented in a new and exciting way. A way perhaps best described with Holograms’ own words for the essence of their music “..energy, honesty, heart and spirit.”

With every passing year TV Ghost pushes even further down their unparalleled tunnel of multidimensional broadcast interceptions. They have incorporated churning rhythms and psychedelic drone into a lush torrent of gaseous keys, sprawling guitars and eerie melody – echoing some Can kraut and Bad Seeds swagger, while infectiously stirring together a grinding, goth sludge of Heaven Up Here-era Bunnymen and The Cure’s Pornography.

Tim Gick was just returning from the alley back into the scene of the aborted show that had shamed him out of the record store. The guitar and bass so recently abandoned, had been taken up by Jackson VanHorn and Brahne Hoeft respectively. It was early in the year 2005. The three spent the next year or so together with Jimmy Frezza in stoned tragedy, hammering away obscurely, trying to divine signs in the wake of small town existence. But nothing would stabilize. Stark times for an isolated teenager with no prospect for the future. In late 2006, with a shared malaise for the cultural waste that had born them up, TV Ghost was formed.

After six years of extensive touring Tim Gick, Brahne Hoeft, Jimmy Frezza, Tristan Ivas and Jackson VanHorn bring us Disconnect. With the cybernetic squalor of Cold Fish and the churning sea-saw of Mass Dream, still lingering in strands overhead, TV Ghost have found a new maturity in their third full-length for In The Red Records. Disconnect is a journey to the depths of the dream and its awakening.

Aunt Dracula

Aunt Dracula is the moniker of Philadelphia artist Scott Daly. His music is as roomy as a pharaoh's crypt. Lush and eerie, it is reminiscent of a haunted greenhouse, full of bizarre musical fauna and the distant echoes of passing voices that rave with layered incantations. It's pop music with heart, and it's got enough vision and room reverb to make it fully mammalian and four chambered, even if we aren't exactly certain of the sub species. With Aunt Dracula, mood runs to exotic highs.

If you told most people that a band could sound like a trippy, post-apocalyptic rendition of The Muppet Show, they’d call you crazy; Aunt Dracula takes that as a challenge. The project is a psychedelic, surf rock interpretation of the freakiest nightmare you’ve ever had, positively oozing ambiance and personality. Able to hop so rapidly and seamlessly between genres and musical styles that anyone listening is viable to think they’re having a psychotic episode,

If there were such a thing as a postmodern post-apocalypse, and the world existed in a kind of warping shift of dark hues, Dalí-esque imagery and Technicolor, Philly's Aunt Dracula is the band that would write its surf music. Whorls of twisted, reverby guitar, trippy, demented vocals and shifting paces of mania and loopy languidness can be found in any Aunt Dracula song. But so can bombastic, aggressive, sharply rendered passages. Guitar rock this inspired and experimental is a rarity, and Aunt Dracula gives sonic adventurers much to sink their teeth into.



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