Grave Babies present a record all about the possibility that humanity is a doomed species, a proposition explored through drum machines and an hard-rock-in-the-1980s guitar sound. Holographic Violence is an odd-sounding album that is hard to pin down, something that works quite well. On the Hardly Art label.
LP £7.79 HAR087
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CD £6.29 HAR087CD
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So… this isn’t a goregrind band? Okay then: on first take, it seems that your average grave baby wants to make sombrely anthemic hard rock with old-school riffs and industrial beats. I want to make a joke about Trent Reznor being in a dated rawk band, right now, but I don’t know any bands, so let’s just move on: ‘Holographic Violence’ is a melding of various rock genre’s primordial days into one neat, way overserious package.
Grave Babies’ idea of darkness involves beats being slapped down from up on high, prog sequencing and… new wave, I guess? The record’s second track uses a bassline inspired by New Order and ties it to a guitar riff a la Joy Division before shredding away the cognitive dissonance. It’s augmented by the symphonic vocal performance of Danny Wahlfeldt, which sounds clumsy and rushed but compelling in its ridiculousness -- he pouts and chants and grunts like he’s pacing the four corners of a wrestling ring.
For a record of supreme evil and supposed nihilism, ‘Holographic Violence’ sounds incredibly cleanly made, its riffs echoing gorgeously and its beats skimming water like a shiny pebble -- see “Positive”, with its articulate acoustics. For a record that happens in the dark, it sure sounds like the easiest thing you could ever listen to, an assimilation of classic rock traditions rather than a rewriting of them.
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