Much Better, Thank You - The House is Moving (CD)
TZ2055Regular price $16.50
Dissonant melodica clouds hover over stoic guitar chords, underlaid with a threatening bass line. Much Better, Thank You open their second album powerfully and wildly.
The band first drew attention to themselves in 2015 with "Concrete Memories", their single "against forgetting - on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz".
Now the five musicians present nine new songs, including two cover versions, which, in contrast to their own compositions, come with German lyrics. One almost has the feeling that the band uses these songs to locate themselves between "Das Model" by Kraftwerk and "Zu Asche, zu Staub" from the Babylon Berlin series; Originally not exactly songs you could imagine a guitar band playing, but MBTY have expanded their musical vocabulary so much that they seem to master it with ease.
"The House is Moving", the title track of the album, impressively reflects the artistic potential of the band. It starts in the living room, at least that's what the intro sounds like, played on a lonely acoustic guitar. Timidly, first searching, then clear and powerful, a violin joins them, then an electric guitar. A lot of time passes before the drums and bass kick in and the door to the song's sound fully opens.
Heidi's voice, haunting and deeply sad, carries through the sparse lyrics. From the third verse, a blood-red, sawing guitar increases the intensity. The good feeling quickly disappears; the violin does not donate power, but absorbs it. At some point you no longer know: Is that one violin, are there two? Is that pure beauty or dissonance?
"Two Yellow Lanes" dreams in 5/4 time. The offbeat of "Summerland Suite" invites you to dance between lust and melancholy. "Kite Runner" sneaks up, with a hint of tango, and swings - between thoughts of the human being and his reference group - to a pompous wall of sound in which a bass clarinet breaks up the guitar walls and lets in Irish melodies and French chanson. At some points one listens in surprise, for example when an archaic automatic accompaniment from the 70s sounds in “Hot Deal”. "Fishtank", a somewhat forgiving waltz, closes the dance - Happiness comes only at the bottom of a bottle, when you forget that you had bigger dreams. You always wanted more than this.
Afraid of breaks in style? No never! The band has consistently developed a compact band sound that knows how to challenge its listeners, but never overwhelms them. Skillfully arranged guitars, dynamic drums, driving bass lines and above that the ethereal voice of Heidi Engel.
Much Better, Thank You have landed, miles from where they came from, but happy in their daily unhappiness.
The house is burning, my head is spinning. An album full of power and disturbing beauty.
01 Secret Service
02 The house is moving
03 To ashes, to dust
04 Summerland Suite
05 Kite Runner
06 Hot deal
07 Two Yellow Lanes
09 Fish tank