The Swedish group Statues feel genuinely fun to listen to, and their new album Holocene provides a refreshing and persistently invigorating listening experience.
Statues perform jangly tunes that seem to toe a line between post-punk and noisy rock. The music feels tangy, and the songs prove quite melody-centric — in line with classic-feeling post-punk — but the album also carries a subtly consistent rock ‘n roll edge, which shines at moments like the track “Cardiac Arrest.” The basslines feel heavy, and the angular guitar rhythms repeatedly feel subtly confrontational, sending the music into marvelously punked up territory. “Lockdown” leans even further into the rock ‘n roll side, with a brisker tempo and a particularly hoarse edge in the persistent riffing.
Although there’s a definite abrasive side to the tunes, the melodies across Holocene feel persistently bright, as if the band is performing at an impromptu dance party that’s emerged on a street corner where bystanders seem eager to join the festivities. Melodies across “Grab the Bags and Run” feel, quite simply, triumphant — there’s a fist-pumping spirit in the music, which pushes simmering, ready-to-pop energy in the bright, neon-tinted blasts of the poignant rhythms that dot the listening experience. Meanwhile, across much of the music, the vocals feel strikingly and rather anthemically soulful, and sometimes — like on the comparatively mellower “Shitstorm” — this surging anthemic vibe takes over the instrumentation. “Sleepytown,” meanwhile, leans into a lush, post-punky low-end.
All of the music feels quite grounded — the moments of relieving brightness and catharsis that push through the music feel richly earned, as if the band has captured soundtracks for a feeling of relief at a moment of overcoming some kind of particularly formidable hurdle. The dynamics across the music help connect the music to quite real-feeling emotional experience, with a sense of gradually arriving at the highs rather than just suddenly arriving without explanation. The album feels like a sonic equivalent of a pleasant runner’s high, or a musical five-hour energy drink — it’s energetic and confrontational, but the music isn’t oppressive, and the fist-pumping melodies feel quite pleasant to sink into, like a grassy hillside on a warm summer day.
Listen to Holocene below! It’s out via Lövely Records.