“229” – The Bavarian Druglords (Joint Review)
A lot of the joint reviews we’ve done on this blog have had totally differing opinions, just look at our two Jarvis Cocker reviews. But this one I almost totally agree with my counterpart. This is another good album from a band that live on the edge of making utterly brilliant albums. I’m still waiting for their masterpiece, but their new album, “229”, definitely keeps me happy and wanting more.
Okay, so for people who haven’t heard any music from The Bavarian Druglords, they make a lo-fi kind of psychedelic rock, that my counterpart summed up perfectly with his coining of hollow rock, along with Artifacts For Space Travel’s debut album, The Bavarian Druglords’ “205” was one of the best lo-fi releases of the year.
Here comes the one thing I don’t agree on with my counterpart, he mentioned a similarity to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez with some of the guitar work, and I just don’t hear it The guitars, in my mind, sound really understated and subtle, which makes the music very direct and allows the listener to really listen to all the components of the music. I reckon comparisons are better made to the new Brian Jonestown Massacre album, “Who Killed Sgt. Pepper”, which really went into the electronica style of heavy pounding bass riffs and really prevalent on TBD song “Kill Art”.
“229” begins with the beat heavy “Great Ape”, and really sets the pace and feel for the rest of the album, which in turn makes the album extremely easy to listen to. “Great Ape” is surely one of, is not his best, song that he’s released. It’s just got that feel, something that only really good songs have.
The album rolls along, but there aren’t really any standout songs until you hit “Groove Alone”, it’s another heavy and slightly off kilter beat that drives this song along with the following few tracks. It’s one of the best features about this album, combining heavy drumbeats with lightly picked guitar isn’t exactly a new thing, but The Bavarian Druglords do it so well. “Blackmail” and “Kill Art” follow this trend and are the tracks with the most prevalent use of this heavy bottom end with light top end type of music. “Kill Art” is an obvious standout and along with “Great Ape”, it is one of my favourite tracks off the album.
Yes, this is definitely an album that can be listened to again, and again, and again, something that I absolutely love about it. Definitely up there with some of the best releases this year and is likely to make my end of year lists.
I usually tell people to go out and buy the cd, for albums like this, but as it’s only being released at this time in digital format, I’ll say “stay in and download this album” if they make enough money, they’re planning to release it in hard copy, so buy the album so we can all get a hardcopy of a really good album.
Reviewer’s Pick: “Kill Art”
Stand-out Tracks: “Great Ape”, “Kill Art”, “Blackmail”, “Groove Alone”, “New York City Spy”