pop music

Der Blutharsch * Our Survival Depends On Us (7″ 2009)

I Will Not ObeyThe latest effort of Der Blutharsch is not a very good one. Their track is instrumental and not very interesting and what is worse, the other band is some kind of boring metal/rock thing (“sludge doom” in their own words) with an awfull track. I guess the text on the single itself (“I Will Not Obey”) means that Herr Julius just keeps doing what he wants. I suppose I cannot always like it. The package is nice though.
Links: Der Blutharsch/WKN, Our Survival Depends On Us

Prodigy * Invaders Must Die (cd 2008)

Invaders Must DieFive years after the previous album I had expected some more attention to the new album of the Prodigy. In fact, I had to search to find a copy in one of the local cd-shops. “Invaders Must Die” is worth the effort though. Continueing the development in style, but this time with many references the earliest material, the new album contains nicely explosive “electro punk”. On Youtube you can already watch two of the videos that come on the DVD, “Invaders Must Die” and “Omen”, the first two tracks. When you like these two, you can savely buy the rest of the album. “Invaders Must Die” might for the first time not put all the previous releases in its shadow, but it is a great album. A bit short though, 45 minutes.
Links: The Prodigy, Take Me To The Hospital

Bain Wolfkind * The Swamp Angel (cd 2008)

The Swamp AngelHowever I have the debut 10″ of Novo Homo, I have seen the man live a couple of times and I like what he does with Der Blutharsch, I have almost completely neglected Bain Wolfkind. Stupid me! “The Swamp Angel” is an amazing dirty (blues) rock album which reminds me of Bluebob here and there. Wolfkind has more releases available, I might need to see if they are as enjoyable as this one.
Links: Bain Wolfkind, Hau Ruck!

Der Blutharsch * Everything Is Alright (cd 2008 wkn)

Everything Is AlrightThe five last albums (or so) were all the last release of Der Blutharsch, but new releases kept coming. “Everything Is Alright” is just like “Rest On Your Arms Reversed”, the last cd of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud, a cd with collected rare tracks from limited vinyls and compilations, so who knows. “Rest On Your Arms Reversed” is the best cd of TMLHBAC. The same is not the case for “Everything Is Alright” for Der Blutharsch, but I must say that this collection is very, very enjoyable. I have quite a few of the limited vinyls, so I already had several of the tracks presented here, but I seldom play 7″s, so it is nice to be able to play them easily now. “Everything Is Alright” goes from about “Time Is Thee Enemy” to the present day, so do not expect the martial industrial old style Der Blutharsch, but the catchy poprock side of later days. Many people may think that Der Blutharsch has “lost its magic” when it stepped away from the popular martial style, I must say that I play the later ‘rocky’ albums much more often than the older material and “Everything Is Alright” may not be a “best of” compilation, it is an album that listens easily and can be played even when you have visitors. A nice collection of poprock songs.
Link: Der Blutharsch/WKN

JW Roy * s/t (cd 2008 monkeyman)

JW RoyDon’t worry! I am not planning on changing the focus of this music reviews section, but I do think that any style of music can be featured here if it is worth mentioning.
JW Roy comes from the same village as myself, so of course I have been aware of his musical career for many years, not in the least place because my father is a big admirer. Starting in a few bands, JW Roy developed himself as a “singer/ songwriter” with a mixed “Americana” style. Slowly but surely the recognition grew and he got to tour the Netherlands and abroad. About two years ago he was played on the radio and then things speeded up. The previous album was recorded in Eindhoven (Roy has lived in Amsterdam for many years) and sung in a ‘light’ version of the dialect of his birth. Instead of losing following because he changed from an American to a local approach, his fame only seemed to rise and for the new album he even managed to work with great names from Dutch popmusic and the style became more poppy as well. However the main focus still lays on melancholic (too melancholic sometimes) “singer/songwriter” music, this untitled album also contains some poppy (too poppy sometimes) songs, but also there are more jazzy influences, poprock here and there and many other styles making this a varried album and enjoyable enough even for someone who usually doesn’t listen much to popmusic.
Links: JW Roy, Moneyman
-3.5-

Amy Winehouse * Back To Black (deluxe edition) (cd 2007)

Back To BlackBecause I don’t listen to popmusic, for a long time I only knew Amy Winehouse from hearing that she is a troubled teenager that drinks too much and uses too much drugs. A while ago I heard “Rehab” played in the gym where they only play hiphop and cheap dance music and I wondered what would make such a weird and wonderfull song being popular enough to be played in the gym, when I noticed that it was sung by Amy Winehouse. Later I heard to other songs of Winehouse which I also liked, so I decided to have a better listen to the young woman. I think I downloaded her first and not too good album and left Winehouse for what it was. Now there is another nice song on the radio, so I figured she must have a good and new album, only to find out that she has made only two cds yet. “Rehab” is on the 2006 album “Back To Black” which has now been rereleased with an extra cd with some other tracks. For the better too, since the album itself is below 35 minutes! Anyway, I don’t suppose I would have to review this album for listeners of popmusic, because if you know the hits like “Rehab” or “You Know I’m No Good”, you know the style of Winehouse well enough to know if you like it. But my normal audience may -like me- have ignored Winehouse for being a popstar, so just a few things. The music goes from soul to jazz and blues with a little triphop (or whatever), ballads and crazy cheerfull songs. Most songs are rather melancholic or relatively dark in concept for popmusic at least. I still don’t know what makes Winehouse so popular under the larger audience that only wants simple music, but I can only say that I love her weird style and concept and this album is surely something else that I can put in the player when I don’t feel like playing my usual kind of music.

Der Blutharsch * The Philosopher’s Stone (cd 2007)

As mentioned in the review of the 7″ with the same name, this is again the last Der Blutharsch release. The 7″ proved a good indication for the cd. The music is still recognisable for Der Blutharsch, but different from earlier releases, also the later ones. The style has gone more into a poprock direction, but also with a more industrial sound than before. “The Philosopher’s Stone” is more tranquil than the last more rock-oriented cds and after a few listenings I might say, not as good either. The last cd certainly is a bad one, and there are some very nice songs and melodies here, but I have to admit that I hoped Herr Julius would leave the arena with a blow.
Links: Der Blutharsch / WKN
-2.5-

Blue Bob, David Lynch and John Neff (cd 2001 soulitude records)

Recently I discovered David Lynch as a writer and accidentally I found out that the man also makes cds. Recently released is a cd called “The Air Is On Fire”, but already six years ago David Lynch made a cd with a guy called John Neff under the name “Blue Bob”. How comes that I never heard of it? “Bluebob” can be described as dark and slow bluesrock with here and there an industrial touch and of course jazzy tunes. The album opens magnificently with great and greasy tracks. The music is slow, raw, with low-tuned guitars and deep vocals. Our duo has used a wide range of very old guitars and equipment to make a rather unique sound. Some tracks are instrumental (not the best ones), others have weird lyrics and Neff’s great vocals. In total this became a really dirty rock album; usually not my kind of music, but it seems that Lynch can turn many things into something great. I believe that while waiting for this cd, I read somewhere that there is a new Bluebob coming up, but I don’t know if I mixed it up with the soundscapes cd “The Air Is On Fire” of David Lynch alone. “Bluebob” used to be available only through Lynchnet.com, but I just got my copy from a Dutch mailorder. Recommended for Lynch-freaks and alternative (industrial) rockers alike.
(P.s. Everywhere the spelling is “Bluebob”, but Lynchnet has “Blue Bob”, I decided to just use both spellings.)
-3-

About * Bongo (online album 2007 cock rock disco)

I know this band from their brilliant contribution to the free Cock Rock disco compilation. It was not until last week that I started to ‘Google’ the band, found out that they are from Amsterdam and that there is an album available. Like all Cock Rock releases, this is an online album. Whereas “Think Niles Drink” is a very ‘rocky’ and energetic track (with a great video), the rest of the album goes from weird poppy ADHD to more tranquil tracks. It all is not completely unlike Jason Forrest (see elsewhere) who also runs the label. In any case, something new seems to be happening, a mix between techno/breakcore and lollypop (catchy melodies, simple lyrics) completely with guitars and background vocalists. I haven’t decided if I like this album better than Forrest’s own “Shamelessly Exciting”, but “Bongo” sure is a wonderfull album if you like some weird (and happy) pop music every once in a while.
Links: About, Cock Rock Disco
-4-

Der Blutharsch * The Philosopher’s Stone (7″ 2007 wkn)

After a few times having quitted the project, Albin Julius again anounced a few last releases. Here we have a 7″ with the title of the upcoming cd (and cd+7″ box) with one track of the cd and of course one exclusive one. Der Blutharsch again managed to sound like Der Blutharsch, but different from before. As anounced, there are no more “martial” influences in the sound. The two tracks are rather soft experimental industrial rock or whatever you want to call it. In the line of the last material, but a bit different. The tracks are not bad, not great, but I find that Der Blutharsch’ music usually comes out better on an album where they are in line of the other tracks, so I have no fears that the next last release, will again be a nice one.
Links: Der Blutharsch / WKN
-3-