Holograms' debut album stood out in the suddenly crowded field of indie rock/punk crossover acts by marrying tense post-punk melodies to danceable synths, though its lean, lo-fi mix seemed like it might sentence the band to under-the-radar status. Perhaps spurred on by the success of fellow Scandinavian punks Iceage and Lower, Holograms have beefed up that wiry sound, moving the synths out of the way of behemoth fist-raising choruses.
A move like that carries the risk of diluting their personality, but the Swedes have stepped it up in the songwriting department. Meditations is a monster of a song, its repeated one-word "Destruction!" hook itself bigger than anything on their last album. The synths are still there, but mostly as texture. Maybe Forever will move the band members out of their parents' basements.
Top track: Meditations