Author Archives: Eric

Trash Monday LXVIII

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There’s this peculiar thing in human behaviour I just don’t understand. If it were rugs made by exploited children in India, everyone would be appalled and disapprove such perversity. Jordy on the other hand, had a number one hit in France with the tender age of 4 years. Good thing he could keep the earnings for himself, like Indish weavers do…
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IiLZ0dvDWU]

Werewolves In Siberia – The Rising

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As your blog manages to get bigger and more popular, it happens that people request you to review their masterworks or how they like to call it. Which is a good thing, actually. Thanks to social media we get in touch with new artists and never despair to write new reviews as new material drops by on an almost daily basis. But at what price?

Werewolves in Siberia play, what they call, 70’s and 80’s inspired synth rock. As I never heard of them before, I did my obligatory online researches, checked their bandcamp and twitter profiles but couldn’t get any further informations. Last.fm confirmed my fears, as this band / collective / project only has 2 listeners and 14 scrobbles. Oh boy, what was I getting myself into?

If The Rising is supposed to be a horror soundtrack, it does not fail its task completely. The soundpalette is cheesy and well chosen at least. But that’s it. The opener Introduction to a nightmare and the last track Return to the nightmare could give you the impression that The Rising actually is a concept album, but no it’s not. It’s not that I do not like sterile soundscapes and repetitivity; that’s what made Kraftwerk the most recognized electronic band ever, but one has to put a lot of effort into creating his own sound and identity instead of selecting the most annoying and cheesy instrument in Magix Music Maker and calling it your own creation. It’s all about compromising!

The Rising is not catastrophic, the production is clean; there are even some pleasant moments in it, like Return to the nightmarewhich could sound colossal if only the artist had put more time into his composition and tried to implement real instruments into the track instead of going full MIDI. This album is supposed to be a horror soundtrack but plashes into insignificance and boredom. The only thing my mental cinema could imagine was a group of Ewoks hunting mushrooms in planet Gutter on a real bad Meth trip. And that’s not even as funny as it sounds. But if you’re still into this kind of music (why not?), get it on bandcamp.

Like Lovers – Former Selves

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You might have probably read the name Jan Kerscher in case you’re an avid reader of our dear blog. As a short introduction, Jan Kerscher is a German aspiring producer based in Bavaria who’s well known for his recording skills. Luxembourgish bands like Inborn or Dirty Crows are the perfect proof for his unquestionable talent in motivating and pushing musicians beyond their personal limits. I’ve experienced it firsthand during the pre-recordings from Dirty Crows‘s debut album and I have to admit that I do have an enormous respect for this guy!

If Jan’s not busy recording new gems or performing on stage with Inborn, he’s still got enough output to share. This time with his solo project Like Lovers, debuting with a 6 track EP named Former Selves. What you can expect is a nice blend of post hardcore with post rock and indie / emo influences. The artist / band describes the style as a “post-songwriter project influenced by everything between Björk, Jeff Buckley and Beck” but there’s a lot more, obviously. The first time I listened to the EP it reminded me of Circa Survive, a band that I personally appreciate quite much.

The opening track Again nails it by being powerful and atmospheric at once, and boy, can he sing. This is post-emocore at it’s finest, simple and catchy, just the way I like it. Imagine this band playing on stage with 2 guitarists and the wall of sound experience will be fullfilled.

Teach me the right then is a fragile, acoustic dirge that is depressive without drifting too much into pathos. This is heartbreak and pain as it should be. Sad, gutt-wrenching and disturbing at once.

Honestly, I cannot help myself but think of Radiohead when I listen to Serious Man and Walls. The latter reminds me of a mix between Reckoner and I might be wrong but the track profiles as a Like Lovers song instead of being a Radiohead copy. But the real strong point of the EP is the variety of genres and talent in songwriting / performing. Too long and the acoustic version of Serious Man are the complete opposite of the opening tracks and could easily make every singer / songwriter burst in jealousy.

It is quite easy for me to write about music but the hardest task to me is to make / create good music. The worst part is to compose something with which you’re thoroughly satisfied and that can be presentable to a broad audience. Like Lovers can be more than a side project or a “past-time activity” and I’m really looking forward to where this big talent and potential might be leading.

Former Selves is available on Bandcamp for 6 bucks. Buy the EP and support the artist, please!

Trash Monday LXIII

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Quit your job, get yourself a camera and become the next BIG video producer. You’ll get the dough and the bitches, just like Ancient Rome did! Still better than selling Viagra online, I promise!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SDvvA77G6Q]

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Specter At The Feast

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It’s a a hard task to review the newest album of your favourite rock formation. It is even harder when you’re about to first see them live in a couple of hours at den Atelier. To me, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are one of the most influential bands in the genre that I know and yet they manage to maintain themselves as a riddle; perceived by the masses but still handled as an underground phenomenon. I remember the first time I saw one of their videos of their debut album on music television at a time where Nu Metal was THE big thing and I was completely flashed by the dark, melancholic mood of the music. I charmingly describe their music as my personal soundtrack for my suicide with an overdose, but I’ve got do drugs first for that purpose…

Specter At The Feast could be easily described as a panoply of genres the band underwent during the whole career, but that’s not the whole truth. Songs like the opener Fire Walker are a surprise with the almost esoteric intro and the hypnotic bassline, the vocals add a soothing action to the listening experience. Let The Day Begin and Hate The Taste are a perfect example for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’sease and serenity in songwriting. The fundament is rock solid and yet not self-evident to realize, which turns BRMC to the last remaining top dogs in their genre who managed to somehow survive for 15 years now.

Returning and Lullaby are two over-melancholic tracks that I could listen to in a hazardous endless loop, wallowing myself in self-pity. I personally feel myself catapulted back in 2005 when Howl was released. I might be the only one, but Peter Hayes’ voice so reminds me of John Lennon and this is not meant as an offense! BRMCflair for melancholic folk rock with an obvious retro taste is simply astounding. Therefor, Rival could be interpreted as a cool provocation for other bands to compete with BRMCfor rock’n roll olympus but I somewhat sense a defeat for each band who enters the arena. Teenage Arena is just the right soundtrack for the battlefield.

All in all, Specter At The Feastis a pleasant surprise because it shows no signs of fatigue in the trio’s songwriting. It’s challenging, dirty and mostly high paced, with a few exceptions (Fire Walkerbeing over the top but Sometimes The Lightis a bit too much calm after the storm). But who am I fooling anyway, I’ll stick to my opinion that Black Rebel Motorcycle Clubhave never released one bad album. I’m really looking forward in seeing them live and hyper nervous right now!

Eric

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfbxNAZQg-g]

Nai Harvest – Whatever

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What is probably worse than not having a new attire for next summer? Yup, you got it, not having a soundtrack for next summer, the one steady companion for your drives to the beach or to the lake, like we do here in Luxembourg. I was worried that I would not have a cool record for this year as Wavves‘ King of the beach was growing old on me and the time was right to discover something new and fresh.

Fortunately enough, Lauren from Inception Press was kind enough to provide us with new material; this time with Sheffield’s noodly emo-punk duo Nai Harvest‘s newest release Whatever and I must say that this record’s got enough potential to become my new favourite record for the next weeks.

The opening track Whatever is a nice mix between mathy riffs and a cool apathic punk rock attitude. The vocals are everything but polished or clean but that’s what makes this band remarkably pleasant.

Floor‘s carelessness totally kicks in from the very beginning. Following the same scheme as on the first track, the track varies from a cocky beginning to a jolty drum part that is clumsy and awesome, it kinda reminds me if Blink 182 had sex with Born Ruffians, with the result being Nai Harvest.

One of my favourite tracks is Distance, etc., because it best reflects the band’s identity; which is simple, uncompromising music freshened up with a brazen attitude. Nai Harvest haven’t reinvented this famous wheel everyone’s talking about when it comes to music but they surely have their own sound and identity.

The only downside is that a lot of songs have the same structure, which is kind of a pity; as the album tends to get too repetitive but with a total playtime of 28 minutes, Whatever is just the right intermezzo between a depressive winter with lots of melancholic music and a hormone-pumped summer with too much electro and STDs and what do I know…

There might be people moaning about the band’s musical perfomance being too banal, simple or rough; but I honestly prefer to party with these guys on stage than having a wank while listening to Dream Theater. It’s all about taking the right decisions, eh?

Eric

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxxu54iIdak]

Trash Monday LX

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Hip hop is dead. No; seriously guys and gals, it really is. Germany was once highly valued for its writers and thinkers but was quickly invaded by brainless sumo-zombies from planet Hippolderaan, spreading dumpishness throughout the whole republic. So much for the YOLO-caust, I guess…

(*hint* eloquence attack at 2:04 *hint* )

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F62LEVZYMog]

DillenDub – DillenDub

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Here’s for something completely different. In case you’ve never heard of this band before, DillenDub (which is a clever pun for trompo in Luxembourgish) are a talented trio from Luxembourg consisting of Pol Belardi on bass and synthesizer, Jérôme Klein on the synths and Aloyse Weyler on the drums, who is also active in bands like TheCarps’ or The Majestic Unicorns from Hell.

What DillenDub actually serve is a pleasant blend of dub, mixed with some fine kraut or psychedelic elements underlined in a jazzy groundwork; you might even find a few reggae influences too. Songs like Tapir Cakewalk catch the listener’s attention from the very beginning, unfolding enough free space to slowly enter into the spell of each track. What starts slowly as an ambient, jazzy track becomes a trippy journey to what I perceive as a mild drug induced trip to lala-land, which is a very good thing.

Ford Prefect keeps the pace up, making you want to shake your moneymaker all the time, it’s just groovy as hell. I remember listening to this track for the first time and I was all upset because of the nervous synthie part but if you give this beauty a few listens it could become your potential new favourite track on the LP.

My personal favourite track is Fruity Loop. Calling it “perfect” might be a tad bit exagerated, but the synthie violins got me from the very first second. This IS my personal soundtrack to listen at sunset on the lakeside on a warm spring day, drifting along to the mellow mood of this chill masterpiece and be one with each and everything. Honestly, it reminds me of AIR during their Moon Safari period, which is very positive; AIR never sounded any better than on that album.

I will not sink in for the remaining songs and hope I made you curious enough to get DillenDub‘s self-titled debut or to see them live as soon as possible. This band has got enough potential and it would be a shame not to give credit to these talented musicians for this promising album they created!

Eric

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOWNuf3yeFA]

PVT – Homosapien

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If you decide to call an album Homosapien all I can think of is evolution, be it as a human being or as a band. So I was really looking forward to PVT‘s newest release, as their last album Church with no magic (specially the first half of it) was one of my favourite records in 2010. The newest single Shiver made me quite curious as it sounded quite different and experimental with its spacy arpeggios and distorted, quirky vocals. Could Homosapien be a better album than the previous releases O Soundtrack My Heart, with its grandeur in sound varying from Jean-Michel Jarre to Kraftwerk influences?

The answer is no, unfortunately. Let me get this straight, from the beginning; Homosapien is not that bad, if you give it more than 5 listens. It grows a little. But it still feels like driving a car without loosening the handbrake, you think you’re driving 75 on the highway but all you do is blurring the sight of others.
I really greet the new approach in PVT‘s songwriting, more vocals and catchy moments like in Love & Defeat, or Evolution that reminds me of Kraftwerk’s Spacelab in the beginning which is a really cool thing but then there are songs like Homosapien, that is truly uninspired in everything; generic drumming, a little glitch here and there, a slightly distorted guitar and a bored vocal performance.

Vertigo is also a failure in case it was supposed to be a chilly intermezzo between some killer tunes. It tries to be relaxing and dreamy but sounds as innovative as if James Blake would fart into a vocoder. And this is the ONE real problem with this album.

Homosapien does not have any surprises nor does it challenge the listener. It’s more filler than killer. The dancy, crazy moments in older songs like Window have completely disappeared, it’s just like PVT have been taking tranquilizers for the last 3 years. The album lacks aggressivity, joy in performing and also consequence. What happened to the megalomania and wittiness that they had in O Soundtrack My Heart or Church With No Magic?

I guess it was just a hard task to keep up with the older albums so I think that this album must be considered as a pardonable faux pas. Let’s hope it was for the last time.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jufWwb4Car0]

Trash Monday LV

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Well, normally I always try to be ethically correct and to accept every single creature on planet Earth, but Fritz must be from another planet as he definitely took the bun (*hint Auto-tune at 2:03)! Oh, and by the way, happy carnival to all of you sickos!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJe3cdM7f1c]