The Dead Weather is one of my favourite poprock bands. The band members play in a range of other bands, not the least bands either. Of course there is Jack White of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, etc., etc. Then we have Alison Mosshart of The Killers and some other bands. Dean Fertita of Queens Of The Stoneage, The Raconteurs, etc. Last but not least Jack Lawrence who also plays in The Raconteurs and a handfull of other bands. Several of the names bands have nice songs, but nothing like The Dead Weather.
Because all band members are busy, it took five years before The Dead Weather released another full-length. In that time two singles were released and recently tracks from the then upcoming album were already available. Because of this I already knew a large part of “Dodge And Burn”.
The album opens with “I Feel Love” which has been available for a week or two. An alright track with Mosshart on vocals. We continue with “Buzzkiller” that is featured on the single of last year with the same title. The first new track is “Led Me Through”, a nice song. The next two tracks are new too and on “Three Dollar Hat” we hear Jack White for the first time and then Mosshart again as the song speeds up into a very nice Dead Weather song. “Rough Detective” and “Open Up” shared a 2013 7″, the latter is nicely energetic. The last tracks are new again.
“Dodge And Burn” does not blow me away like “Sea Of Cowards” (2010) or “Horehound” (2009). The tempo of most songs is fairly low and they seem less dramatic than earlier material. I do not rule out the possibility that this album will grow on me though, since The Dead Weather has a nice unique style with a lot of detail and some experimentation.
Links: The Dead Weather, Third Man Records
For some reason I thought that Thee Oh Sees were one of these early nowave bands, but apparently their first release is from 2006 and they have been around since 1997. However there are some skreeks and noises here and there, the term “garage rock” covers the sound of “Floating Coffin” better than the term that I expected to hear. The album is not boring, but little different from uptempo popmusic. Not something turn off, but nothing special either.
Links: Thee Oh Sees, Caste Face Records
A while ago I had Deezer choose my music and I heard a great track of Wolfmother. Wolfmother has great tracks, but not all of them are that good. Continuing with Wolfmother I discovered bands such as Cage The Elephant (nicely experimental, but a bit too poppy), Them Crooked Vultures (with Nirvana / Foo Fighter member, quite a good band) and Eagles Of Death Metal (interestingly experimental); all strange rockmusic. Then I heard the magnificent “Witch Doctor” of a band whose name I have known for a long time: De Staat. De Staat is a Dutch band which is about as weird as my townmates of Stuurbaard Bakkebaard. They throw many different styles of music in their poprock sound and here and there they run off with strange experimentations. The sound goes from quite poppy to more psychedelic. I especially like the more uptempo tracks, but also the stranger parts are sometimes downright brilliant. “I_Con” is the third album of this band. The debut (2011) has less interesting tracks, the second album (2012) is also quite interesting. Should you have followed my advice to try “The New Puritans” and you liked this -also- weird band, this Dutch outfit might be a nice thing to try too.
Links: De Staat, Cool Green Recordings
Nine years after “The Lathe Of Heaven” I had never expected another album by Dream Into Dust. Then a while ago I ran into the band’s Facebook page and there was an announcement for “So Beautiful And So Dangerous”. Exited I sent some money to Derek Rush and yesterday the cd fell in the mailbox. The new album opens unexpectedly with a technoish rhythm going over in some kind of industrial rock (or actually drum’n’bass rock). That is not how I remember DID! Would the sound changed that much? The next tracks are more like earlier material. Soft, somewhat poppy rock music with a lot of electronics in the background, dreamy atmospheres and a complex set of layers to the music. There seems to be more IDM this time and there even are elements of synthpop and other (too) catchy sounds. The larger part is either dark or darkly melancholic. Dark ambient soundscapes alternating with shoegaze songs and whatever you (did not) expect from DID. The album certainly is mature and well-structured, but it does not grip me like its predecessor does. Still a very interesting album not following any of the scene’s trends. Dream Into Dust keep doing their own thing and they do it well.
Link: Dream Into Dust, Chthonic Streams
The package alone is a reason to buy this new album of the reformed Der Blutharsch. Great artwork in embedded gold on a black digipack and a booklet in the same style, nicely psychedelic, well accompanying the music. And about that music, it remained in line of the previous cooperations with White Hills and Aluk Tolodo, so what you can expect is slow psychedelic rock with organs. Not really surprising anymore when you keep up with Herr Julius and friends. Perhaps it is time to reinvent Der Blutharsch again? In any case, this new album is not bad or boring, but not great either, nice as background music. More amusing is the new website though, check it out by clicking on the link below.
Link: Der Blutharsch ATICOTLH, WKN
Another album with rare songs and alternative versions of Von Thronstahl. I feared I would have most of them, since I have most material of the band and quite a few compilations with Von Thronstahl on them. The nice thing about “Conscriptvm” is that there are songs that were recorded, but eventually did not make it to albums because they did not fit. Therefor there are not only different versions of tracks that I already had, but also new songs. Good news for the people who prefer the early style of the band is that most tracks of the first cd in the old style, there is even a version of “Sturmzeit”. Not that there is much of the dark orchestral industrial style, but the music for the larger part is not of the rocky kind of nowadays. The second cd has more ‘neofolky’ songs. All in all I can say that “Conscriptvm” might not contain the best material of the band, but as usual it is a very nice album to listen to.
Links: Von Thronstahl, Cold Spring
The NY progrock band White Hills is currently extensively touring Europe. I must say that their Myspace tracks sound better than their track here which reminds quite a bit of Der Blutharsch’s current style. Der Blutharsch’s own track is a long stretched tone with some singing, “prog”, but not very “rock”. The White Hills track is the better one, but they do have better tracks.
Links: Der Blutharsch / WKN, White Hills
A fortunate coincidence made that I saw Der Blutharsch live twice in the last week. They would play at a festival in Tilburg for which I bought tickets months ago. When me and my girlfriend had to book our holiday we had to mind to be back yesterday for the festival so we went the week before. Then I noticed that three of the bands in Tilburg would play in København on Wednesday and since a concert in another country is probably something different, we went there to see the alright show of Bain Wolfkind, the not too good and very short show of Deutsch Nepal and the very nice performance of Der Blutharsch in The Rock with about 50 other people. Yesterday during the Incubate festival the set of three played in the Hall Of Fame with a bit more audience and a much bigger place. Friends who expected the old style of Der Blutharsch were disappointed, one found the performance tame and save and however I liked the show, I remember the København show more lively, but that may have been because of the much more lively audience there. Der Blutharsch mostly did new versions of old tracks again and most tracks were pretty heavy but rather slow rock songs. I suppose that spelled the style on the new album, but I wonder why they did not just play new songs. “Flying High!” was announced to be more “psychedelic” and that is true. The catchy rocksongs of the last albums have been replaced by a slower sound, sometimes a bit of progrock soundscapes, sometimes the sleasy Bain Wolfkind rocksong style. “Flying High!” is not a new masterpiece. I like the fact that the band keeps developing in style and it is only a matter of time before this goes into a direction that I do not like, but the new album is a nice one for background moody poprock music. And for people who saw Der Blutharsch on stage, the music on the last albums, especially “Flying High!”, is by far not as loud as the rock-performances the band gives. There is less guitar, several different (guest) vocalists, no drumkit, but more different instruments than that are brought on stage. Indeed, Der Blutharsch does not sound the way they used to, but I personally find that a good thing. I play the rock albums more often than the martial predecessors and I may or may not get more used to “Flying High!”, but the time of “Kampf, Sieg oder Tod!” are behind us, just get used to the idea and see if you like the new direction of the band.
Link: Der Blutharsch / WKN
I do not really follow Albin Julius’ Hau Ruck! label, I guess he is a bit too progressive for me (or he just has a very different taste in music). Ballo delle Castagne is mostly a progrock album with some folky influences and Italian vocals. I cannot say much about it, just that this is again not really my thing.
Links: Ballo delle Castagne, Hau Ruck!
The 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