Holiday Fun Club
Sounds of Subterrania
I remember the day post-punk clicked for me. For the majority of my teenage years I was unable to truly understand its tortuous analyses of self or others, nor the frantic, paranoid pace of these observances. Then it clicked. First Joy Division, then the dam broke, and my life has been far richer for it.
Holiday Fun Club not only sound like an authentic 80s post-punk band (with the obvious exception of certain bits of production, but for the most part the drums, stringy guitars, and bass are spot on), but feel like one, too. I criticized Kamera earlier this year for only mastering the sound of the 80s, but not the soul of the music they replicate. This is not the case for Holiday Fun Club. There is that strange detachment that Gang of Four effortlessly implemented, the empty longing that was distinctly a product of that era of music, complete with the oddities (namely amazingly discordant saxophone solos) that endear bands like Orange Juice to their fans. "Hamburg in the night" is an absolute delight - two minutes of dissonance and rapidity, all leaning on the self-destructive side, and barely able to hold itself together. "Holding my breath" takes a far darker, less focused approach, but succeeds just as well. "Save us" has a touch of New Order's more optimistic craftsmanship and has become my morning song over the past few weeks. There are flaws, just as with so many seminal albums from that time, but these add to the album's genuine sense of belonging in the great catalog of 80s post-punk. Definitely one of my favorite surprises of the year.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson