Audio-Ok - Good Men
As this album starts, there is an immediate assault of what sounds like Talking Heads. It's the same confusing twanging, weird lyrical delivery and deliberate approach. But it soon becomes clear that it's not blatant plagarism, just happenstance - Audio-OK take a lot of the same approach but less of the soundscape. The whole album is very deliberate but quite loosely-planned, imbued with a 'we have NO REGRETS whatever happens with this next note' sort of vibe.
And the weird noises come - underneath fairly simple hooks there are layers of what starts off like whale-song and morphs into muffled voices in 'Between The Lines'. The songs are all fairly short, mostly under three minutes, but this is actually a good thing - it suits the slightly disjointed mood of the album. The whole experience is unnerving. Torsten Volkmann does nothing to dispel this feeling with his blunt delivery, growling, Rammstein-esq low notes and odd Windsor-English accent.
Tracks like 'The Good Man' are incredibly edgy, and when Volkmann declares 'I'm just... A good man!" I'm inclined not to believe him, what with the guitar in the background sounding like Jaws. It's good stuff though, albeit a little exhausting - listening to this album leaves you with the feeling you've been running from a stalker. There are slightly less intense songs - 'Gush' is a two-and-a-half-minute indie-rock excursion back into standard guitar-and-bass territory but it still has the trademark old skool vocal style and a nice bit of interplay in the middle.
Exhausting is probably the best word for this: sound-wise, it's distorted, disjointed and moody. The whole atnosphere is a little bit mad, but not Tasmanian Devil mad, more like crazy man on park bench kind of mad - Not outwardly aggressive but you get the feeling he might jump on you at any second and start shouting about the voices.
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