A Hole Inside

Steps We Have To Follow

Written by: TL on 06/04/2010 13:07:27

While by far the most of Europe seems to be consumed in worship of music that hasn't been relevant for over a decade (see: power metal and female fronted gothic rock) pockets of modernity do in fact exist around the map of the continent, one of which must certainly be said to exist in Sweden, where the underground seems to be machine-gunning screamo and pop punk upstarts out of its small villages. Case in point, A Hole Inside are a four piece from Borås, who have two EP's out at present moment, but since the last one only landed on our doorstep a few days ago, this review deals only with the former one, which was released way back in the mists of 2009.

So, treading in the footsteps of local predecessors Intohimo and Her Bright Skies, A Hole Inside are another incarnation of what has by now become a trademark Swedish screamo sound. They offer roughly equal measures of simplistic instrumentation and composition, harsh; throaty screams, and melancholic cleans, and combine them into six songs of bleak, depressing post-hardcore landscapes.

On the upside, this début EP, appropriately called "Steps We Have To Follow" by the way, is quite easy to get into and enjoy, courtesy of the compositions aiming more for patient and effective, than busy and over-ambitious, which can occasionally be a problem to bands of this genre. Opening duo "Worth To Steal" and "A Hole Inside" are much alike, and mix chuggy hardness with wailing melody well enough to be recognized, while the piano aided "Content Of A Letter" shows a more anthemic and bright side to the band. "Failed" however, is entirely in the opposite trench, firing all guns in a vicious Refused-ish eruption, and after it, the disc closes with "Promise" which mimics the first two songs, and "When I Crawl" which seems like an obligatory pass at an emotive acoustic song.

On the downside, you can feel that this is a début, and while I like that AHI have tried a few different things on it, they do seem like they're not too sure about what it is they have to offer, that's going to set them apart from the already established names from their area. The compositions, as mentioned, are solid and effective, but they fall a bit short of exhilarating, and the clean vocals are also more passable than they are impressive, sounding slightly like digital correction have been necessary to keep them in check in a few places, despite that the range on display doesn't seem the widest.

All in all, I think that for a début, this is not a bad effort, as it lands nicely between "mediocre" and "impressive" in a place I tend to just call "enjoyable", and that's a fair base from which AHI can hopefully take some steps up for their future recordings. So if you eat screamo and post hardcore for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you should get it, and if not, maybe just keep an eye out for the upcoming review of the band's second EP.

Download: Worth To Steal, Content Of A Letter, Failed
For The Fans Of: Intohimo, Her Bright Skies
Listen: myspace.com/aholeinside

Release Date March 2009

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