Exposé Online banner

FireMonkey — Puzzlebox of Antipop
((Not on label) no#, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Puzzlebox of Antipop Cover art

This is essentially a one-man project operating in the same general realm as Bill Nelson: pop songs with elements of prog and avant thrown in. Lyle Holdahl is the man behind the monkey, covering guitars, vocals and various other vaguely credited duties apparently including keyboards and programming. Holdahl may be unique in listing both King Crimson and ABBA among his influences, though honestly the KC is harder to detect than the ABBA. Intelligent 80s pop along the lines of XTC, Oingo Boingo or Talk Talk is another reference point. The vocals range from closely recorded pleasant tones to Primus-style ranting, and the instrumental parts all serve the tunes rather than the musician’s ego. The songs have a tendency to take unexpected turns, like the odd little interlude in the middle of “Skulk” with its off-kilter synth tone and meandering melody. The contrast between surface appearance (simple technopop) and true intent (sonic experimentation and twisting of expectations) is a recurring motif. There’s a bit of the kind of sterile sound you often get with one-man projects, though Holdahl seems to take that limitation as a virtue and run with it, reveling in it rather than trying to hide it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Lyle Holdahl (FireMonkey)

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Seamus - Zealotry Sterblichen Schizophrenia – Seamus is a French/English band that takes on the monumental task of portraying the horror of the Holocaust. The music is very intense, even abstract at times, as Seamus tries to convey the anguished...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover

Heatwarmer new album out



Print issues