(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CD review - Das Black Milk, Talk To Your Body (2010)

Their press sheet touts Talk to Your Body as Das Black Milk's most focused release to date. I haven't crawled through their back catalog yet, but it promises to be a roller coaster ride. Because Talk to Your Body reverberates with post punk and '60s garage rock sounds, but also reveals traces of electronica and tatters of punk. It's a fun listen that defies expectations.

At the opening beats of Tired Eyes, I was hooked. Pensive, with a tense beat and echo-y bits of sound lurking at the edges, it's like an uptempo Careful With That Axe Eugene or some of Porcupine Tree's more psychedelic stuff. It's a compelling groove. It's also atypical of the album, as the detuned, angular notes of Laissez-Fare proved in the next track.

Still, the other songs maintain a a lock on the ear, whether it was the Ramones chop of I Don't Wanna Hear It or the Roky Erickson reverbed grind of Fixated, Unmoved. The psychedelic rock of Smash My Face captured some of the head space of the first track, this time emphasizing some tweedly organ work.

One of the more interesting songs was 7 and 7 is the new 3 which takes a club beat, a Clash vocal, and a Pere Ubu mindset:
I'm a lawyer with a conscience
A single mother with no options
I'm a lawyer with a conscience
Does it make any difference?
Like Pere Ubu's lyrics, the title and lyrics may not necessarily make linear sense, but they fit together.

Das Black Milk is clearly a band that revels in dressing up in their own favorite musical styles, without any sense of irony. Their live shows must be quite interesting. If I'm ever in Scranton, I'll have to track them down. In the meantime, I'll raise a glass of Köstritzer Schwarzbier in honor of Das Black Milk. Listen to their music on their MySpace page.

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