Tagarchief: band

The Horse Company – Calypso

When I saw The Horse Company playing on Incubate earlier this year, I was slightly disappointed. Rumour had it that the band from Zwolle was going to return with a great indie rock record this year, yet all I saw was a band struggling with equipment, somewhat uneasy being on stage. The latter understandable, considering this was their first show in over a year and the first show playing the new material. And honestly, it wasn’t bad at all. It just wasn’t what I had anticipated based on the buzz that preceded the show, or better that preceded the recorded. So I left Cul de Sac a sceptic, not too convinced that Calypso would really live up to the expectation that the rumours were building up.

But this initial scepticism has vanished completely. To some distant hidden cave, somewhere on one of the Greek islands where we would normally find the sea nymph Calypso, daughter of Atlas. Just like with their second album, Olympus, The Horse Company has tapped into Ancient Greeks mythology. But where that title was a bit over the top, or better yet, aimed slightly too high, this record indeed places them amongst the Gods. Or at least at the inner ring of angels (I know, I am mixing up to totally unconnected stories here, even though Dante does mention some Ancients – like Homer – and places them on the outer rim of Purgatory).

Angels of Dutch indie rock and underground that is. The bearded roots rock of their album has been pushed in a far corner to make place for a more trimmed 1990s indie rock sound. Somewhere in the distance you still here some of the old influences, hidden in layers of laid-back guitar melodies, or in the playful melodic bass lines. Somewhat in a way that American Music Club hides their American roots in otherwise poppy tunes. In the three years since Olympus that band apparently has been working on developing another sound, a broader one.

While Olympus a certain points could have been a record recorded in a studio in Denton (TX) by a band hailing from Denton (TX) rocking the indie into roots (or vice versa), Calypso brings together the grandeur of bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol (Random Hearts) with the experimental indiepop of dEus (Front Forming), psychedelics of the 1970s (Nearly Broke Your Heart) and some brushed up indierock influences from the early 1990s (One Wheel). A long list of names that one could refer to, but what makes Calypso a better record than Olympus is simply the fact that these influences have all merged, melted into a laid-back sound clearly definable as “The Horse Company”.

But this new sound does create a problem or – better yet – a challenge for The Horse Company. Listening to Calypso I realised why the show of the band didn’t really kick off during Incubate. The multi-layered songs filled with small subtleties in those layers that sometimes are hardly noticeable, but do create the relaxed atmosphere of the record don’t translate well to a four-piece-band-live-show. The doubled vocal tracks that give the songs an extra depth on your stereo get lost on a stage like that of Cul de Sac, no matter how good the sound-technician is.

Not that Cul de Sac is a bad stage, far from that, but it is above all a pub with a small stage. Acoustics and available equipment to recreate the sound are not available nor the time that the two brothers had whilst writing, recording, overdubbing and experimenting the last three years. Three years of working in silence on what came out as great, subtlety crafted indierock album that certainly places the band in the Dutch top now brings the band to face the next challenge, to translate that sound, those songs and that subtlety to stage. If and when they manage to do so, The Horse Company can reach for the stars and play bacchanal on mount Olympus.

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Opgeslagen onder CD recensies, English, Incubate, Nederland

Crappydog – Ain’t Got No Bone

It has been a while since I received Ain’t Got No Bone, Crappydog’s fifth album. A rambling blues record that breathes the spirit of the street, bears an apparent DIY and punk attitude, and sounds more like a growling dog than the band name implies. Erik Vandenberge, the singer and songwriter of the band, might be born on the salty shores of Zeeland, his music though reeks more of cotton than of mussels. Or it must be growling mussels, ready to bite while you try to break them open.

I Ain’t Got No Bone opens with Crush; a dirty drums driven stomping blues with distorted guitar and an over-the-top screaming baritone saxophone. The crush of Vandenberge is real, there is no space left for any doubt about that, the adrenaline driven lofi and punkblues of the first three songs makes sure you’ll feel it.

Convincing blues with the experimental vibe of Captain Beefheart, the growl of Tom Waits and the stomp of Doo Rag (and Bob Log III). What defines the sound of Crappydog, besides the great songs and the cracking voice of its singer, is the way in which the brass is incorporated in the sound. The low and dirty tones of the saxophone in combination with the grinding guitar, the twisted and sharp trumpet that takes over the broken and fuzzed vocals in some of the songs give Crappydog its extra weird twist.

Take Get Ready which starts as a lowdown stripped blues but quickly marches into New Orleans, the brass section leading the whole team in this musical excursion. An excursion that is fun to listen to. Even with the constant dark and sadness that shimmer in the background, Ain’t Got No Bone is a party to listen to. Twelve songs in 25 minutes that are all rich and full of energy. Even when Vandenberge and his band take it down, the record delivers pure pounding blues, far from crappy.

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Opgeslagen onder CD recensies, English, Nederland

Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse

In de eerste secondes van Slaughterhouse geeft een Ty Segall een duidelijke boodschap af. Openend met een minuut aan tergende feedback roept hij op om vooral de riemen goed vast te zetten voor de psychedelische dodemansrit die daarop volgt.

Na verschillende soloalbums waar Ty Segall vrijwel alle instrumenten zelf inspeelde, isSlaughterhouse eigenlijk een album waar Segall terugkeert op het nest waar het ooit allemaal eens begon, Epsilons. Driekwart van de band waar hij als zeventienjarige zijn eerste albums mee opnam is hier aanboord.

Ty Segall Band bestaat naast hemzelf uit Mikal Cronin en Charles Moothart. En hoewel natuurlijk de naam van Segall prominent op de cover prijkt, klinkt Slaughterhouse ook werkelijk als een bandplaat. Er staat dan ook maar een nummer op dat alleen door Ty Segall is geschreven (Oh Mary).

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Opgeslagen onder CD recensies, CD Recensies NU.nl, Konkurrent, NU.nl