This power vintage rock trio from Germany sound like they’ve been soaked in the music of their forebears. They pull together the laconic rhythms of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the smothering solos of B.B. King and Hendrix and blend it with the spine-tingling dramatics of The Doors.
“Breathtaker”, at the core of the album, shows just what these smooth dudes are capable of. It’s got funk, soul, blues, passion, drive and that enigmatic something special from vocalist Jochem. Here, he’s drawing inspiration from the late, great Jim Morrison, adding his discordant outpourings to a humdinger of a backline. A sweetly riffing bassline and a psychedelic blowout of effects on the lead complete the mash.
Elsewhere the songwriting lacks punch, dragging its feet from verse to chorus, tearing the impetus from the music, twisting itself in knots and confusing timing with momentum. Often the songs seem interminable, eeking out over nine minutes due to unforgivable over-indulgence in an organ solo or an ever-spiralling lead. Who knew “Go Down” would be such a literal piece, going from being a bluesy crusher to arms flailing limply, stretched beyond all recognition. Where before there was a point to Jochen’s vocals, now it’s just an interminable ramble between the twin pillars of Morrison and Ozzy, Simon’s guitar is filling in all the holes with greedy arpeggios and solos but it’s just jamming without reason.
Why do we even need the introductory instrumental warm-up of “Power On”? Its blade is dulled with each passing listen. What do the band hope to achieve within the final six minutes of the rinse-and-repeat monotony of “Overhaul”? It’s 4 minutes of that riff before it even hits the first lyric and then it just continues cycling as a tuneless, discordant mess. Why is the formulaic drawl of “Sea Of Curls” a CD-only add-on? The recording is pure of heart but the timing is out and the vocal is off-key. The band knew this wasn’t ready for release right?
It’s such a shame because there is clearly something worth holding on to here. It may be a bit of a melon-twister on record due to rough-and-ready production but given a good airing on the live stage, it must still be pretty spectacular. Approach with caution.
(4.5/10 John Skibeat)