Let’s (No)twist again: One of the ugliest bands ever is back

March 28, 2008

Has it honestly been six years since Neon Golden came out?

Well, I guess it has. The Notwist are back with their latest release The Devil, You + Me (what’s with these guys and titles involving conjunctions and religious imagery?), and luckily, the disc leaked within the last few days. I haven’t been able to digest it all too much, but it’s definitely gone more from glitch-pop territory to Radiohead territory (!!!), with a lot of the pops and stuttersteps of the former disc being replaced (or at least teamed with) spacier, weirder atmospherics.

The leadoff single “Good Lies” is a straightforward slowburner built around a simple two-chord progression and some depressing lyrics about love gone wrong. The next standout for me was “Gloomy Planets,” which grows from a casual, almost tropical guitar swagger into a full-band crescendo of drums, keys, and computer weirdness — when it all comes in, it’s probably the best point on the album (so far, after limited listens). The title track is akin to a slowed down, more pensive take on “Off the Rails.” Towards the end, “Boneless” is a sweet simple pop number. But what seems missing on the first go round is the overt catchiness of parts of Neon Golden; I don’t really see “One With the Freaks” or “The Pilot” fitting anywhere on here.

I’ll save my judgment till I’ve had proper listens, but as of yet, another Neon Golden it is not. Anyway, it’s out, so keep your eyes open.

The Notwist – Good Lies

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