Our Latest Record / Concert Reviews:

BAR – Welcome To BAR

BARSometimes I suspect journalists of Holland’s leading music magazine OOR of drafting the reviews of some of the less anticipated releases by creative cutting and pasting from the press notes, without actually listening to the album. OOR’s review of the debut album by Düsseldorfian boy-girl duo BAR, for instance states that the band ‘nestles comfortably between ABC, Roxy Music, David Bowie and Propaganda’. It’s interesting to trace back what inspired the reporter to make associations that are so far off that in Holland we would say they ‘close like a rod on a pig’. The press notes by Italic Recordings says that BAR’s singer/composer ‘Lucas Croon sings as if he had studied with Nick Cave, Brian Ferry and Chris Isaac.’ OOR’s reporter picks Brian Ferry, replaces hims with Roxy Music and checks Allmusic.com for acts that followed Roxy Music: ABC. The press note also says that Christina Irrgang’s elegant ‘singing is reminiscent of Claudia Brücken from the Düsseldorf synthpop band Propaganda’. That leaves only the David Bowie reference to be explained, the only one that makes some sense. Obviously BAR and Lucas Croon’s main project Stabil Elite owe a lot to the ‘nonchalant chique’ style of German super group La Düsseldorf that also had a big influence on Bowie’s sound in the eighties, but Bowie took it in a totally different direction away from electronic experimentation and into the hit parade.

By now you probably wish to know what BAR DO sound like, since their music is obviously worth the trouble of smashing all the references above. One name that springs to mind when listening to the more poppy compositions on Welcome To BAR is The Whitest Boy Alive. Songs like Dexy’s Alrobe and Stenberg & Mason (probably referring to a race between to Moto X racers in LA) possess the same laissez faire attitude as many song by the recently terminated Norwegian/German collaboration, but they are considerably more electronic and detached. The excellent single Adios is reminiscent of some of the more atmospheric moment of Junior Boys, minus their dance aesthetic. The second half of Welcome To BAR is considerably more ethereal than the first, with the song Anjali Reverse floating on similar a cloud as the airy tunes of Glasser and Blue Hawaii. Via the gentle electronica of Luna May BAR Theme ultimately brings us to an instrumental land of techno memories. A place also inhabited by The Chromatics and Glass Candy. With their mix of démodé vague and contemporary hip BAR should be able to make an impression far beyond Düsseldorf, forcing even OOR’s reporters to rely on their ears instead of their indexfinger.

White Lung – Deep Fantasy


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Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business


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Manic Street Preachers – Futurology


Futurology was announced as the 'spikier and shinier' 2nd part of a musical diptych of which last year's Rewind The Future was the first. Indeed, Futurology is a bombastic album even by MSP standards. On their 12th studio album the band is having a … [Continue reading]

Roddy Frame – Seven Dials


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Future Islands – Singles

future islands

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Pixies – Indie Cindy


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Creating their own zeitgeist: Wild Beasts in the Melkweg


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Metronomy – Love Letters


Pharrell Williams is everywhere. Even on the new Metronomy album. Not in person he is, but the quirky choruses sung in a dodgy falsetto on almost every song on Love Letters bring back memories of the more reflective moments of N*E*R*D.  It's … [Continue reading]

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream


The title of the third album by The War On Drugs suggests more of the trance-inducing repetitive splendor that made Slave Ambient (2011) praised and loved by many. Instead,  Lost In The Dream is a surprisingly lucid album.  Hiring Nicolas Vernhes to … [Continue reading]