Permanent Holiday

Hidden Agenda

The fey virus of Brit-rock has finally spread to Scandinavia, and suspect zero on that peninsula seems to be Thirdimension. The band exhibits the standard signs you’ve either come to love or loathe: sparse, crystalline instrumentation, Chris Martin-style, over-enunciated croons and falsetto hopping and a general air of pity-mongering. To tell the truth, Thirdimension does the knock off better than anyone getting regular airplay — Keane, especially comes to mind. The chiming pianos and somber gait of “Rear View Mirror” is a razor’s edge away from “Clocks,” and it doesn’t suffer much because of it. The band scores points by recognizing that the occasional rock number will help greatly to distance them from the pack. “Mondaymachine” leads the way, with a shimmering springtime step, and the hard-charging quotient of “Ex-Song” is almost a godsend, aside from its painfully banal lyrics. “The Only Healer” is the true stand-out; it fits the different facets of the band’s sound together and comes away larger than the sum of its parts. It also features the album’s most memorable and touching lyric: “Years ago I found it hard to grow/easier now, is time the only healer?” While not terrible by any means, both Sweden and Hidden Agenda have released more memorable material than Permanent Holiday.


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