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

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sándor Szabó / Kevin Kastning - Returning – For readers who have memorized every review this magazine has published, I won't have to remind you that we've covered the two previous releases by this duo of unusual guitarists. For the rest...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues