Wow Der Blut (as I shall continue to call them for sanity’s sake) have only gone and hooked up a band with about as many releases as they have. Both they and White Hills have over 50 to their name. Anyone got them all? Nope thought not, in fact this is the first time I have even come across NYC artists White Hills who are known as a (prolific) dabbler in psyche Rock. Their Austrian counterpoints have successfully collaborated with the likes of Aluk Todolo, Wolvennest and Skullflower in the past and one can never accuse them of being either complacent or uninteresting. This time around we have a 5 track mini album named Desire, they may have missed the hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day to release it but any fan of their music should not worry, they were probably too tripped out to even register that fact.
Apparently the bands worked together in the past with a 7” called ‘Today I Want To Catch Clouds’ and we settle back into a floating sky with the throbbing heady Krautish tones of ‘Nom De Guerre’ which heavily drifts through the air with hefty bass tones and airy, witchy vocals of Marthyana. The speakers quake from the instrumentation and there’s some strange distorted off kilter sounds in the background from warbling retro keyboards and a sense of displaced lysergic ‘anything could happen’ musical dystopia hangs over the mainframe of the track. The trip has now kicked in! We ‘Await The Moon’ is it obscured by clouds which gently pass over the twilight sky? This is calm and hypnotic, that voice again gorgeous and the instrumentation is now somewhat soothing as guitar gently enforced melody meanders with an almost post punk drift. The songs all under 5 minutes are perfectly poised and precise, one wonders if the temptation was there to expand to monstrous proportions but this time around restraint has definitely done no harm. The title track pulses and the bass lines are thick like treacle, there’s plenty of heart here and a sense of play as the combined forces naturally jam together in a fluid manner. There’s some cheeky guitar lines adding a sense of mischief to it and main melody and bass lines with the vocals are reminiscent a bit of a particularly wigged out number by The Pixies.
I am not sure what ‘SFG’ stands for but it’s very futuristic and sci-fi orientated a bit like an instrumental bridge between two tracks in the Hawkwind Galaxy circa Xenon Codex. I am more than happy to gently float through space on the ride. Last track ‘Lover’ welcomes into warm arms and proffers musical kisses with a comforting jaunty rhythm and warm vocal tones. Yep I think I found the love here and my only desire would perhaps have been another few songs on the release. Not that I am sure fans of either band will be waiting long for the next chapter in their prestigious body of output.
(7/10 Pete Woods)