REVIEW: The Ancient Gallery - "Kopfdelay"

By J. 'Hirez' H-R

Chain Border

KopfdelayThis is a damn fine CD and all your collections will be the poorer without it. Especially if you rather like wildly experimental (and not in the 'we will now play this song backwards in a field quite far away from the recording equipment, utilising a variety of found objects, while coating ourselves liberally in cow manure' sense) German art-metal.

Experimental? Well, yes. It kicks off with the sort of chunky-stuttery synth and over-processed guitar that you'd expect from a crew of Rammstein clones, but then lurches into a random tech-metal noise that brings to mind Mad Capsule Markets in a particularly dour mood and playing everything really slowly out of spite. Or a Brick Layer Cake you can stand to listen to without wanting to storm the stage with pitchforks so as to force the mopey sods to play a little faster: "Go on you fuckers. Play 'Louie Louie' or we're drinking your rider and thieving the tourbus..."

Just as you get used to that, they start to channel Nirvana via AC/DC and the Cult - just trust me on this, it's not as odd as it sounds - you've this loping bassline, and where you'd expect some generic plodding guitar-work you find this throwaway cock-rock riff that sounds like it was stolen wholesale from Whole Lotta Rosie. Then things get really weird.

These people are spitting out ideas left and right, using them in an intro or for a chorus and then chucking them out with the polish barely worn off, where (the many, many) lesser bands would have flogged the one idea to death through the length of the song. The thing is, if this sort of thing happens a lot in Dresden and/or Chemnitz - the sleeve isn't clear on their exact location - then I think I shall be taking advantage of the EU freedom of movement and employment legislation and moving there without delay.

Anyway, enough about why living in Europe is a particularly Good Thing, I was attempting to explain this mad sort of non-categorisable racket and... Look, you know how there's this really English sort of band that doesn't really fit any particular stereotype other than willful incompetence. The band all met at public school and have floppy fringes, don't like to turn up the distortion on the guitars too much and write whimsical songs that would bring to mind some as yet unmade Ealing Comedy if they WEREN'T SO FUCKING ANNOYING? Well, like we know that all 80s Australian post-punk/goth bands were peopled by huge scaryblokes with single-syllable names who looked like they'd dive into the audience and set to with their instruments at the first sign of trouble, we also know that Germany's filled with bands made up of intense-looking geezers in black t-shirts who drink like fish while making quite mad records and (rightly) revering John Peel. (There's a really American sort of band too - but they're far too busy playing various proms, drinking horrible beer and trying to work out if they should sound like Pearl Jam or Limp Bizkit next week.)

(Oh God, now they've gone all drum&bass. Only with big fuck-off MeTaL riffs that you could stun an entire moshpit with. I think I'm in love.) And, from what I can gather from the website, they're a heavily politicized art/rock collective. Excellent, excellent news. Buy this CD.

Contact Information:
Post: Trans Music Booking, Mirko, Sennewald, Loursenstrabe 29, D-01099, Dresden, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) (351) 802-7535
Web: www.transmusic-booking.de

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