Annalise Emerick: Field Notes
Sep 14, 2014
The Notwist- Close to the Glass
RIYL: Radiohead, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of the Dead, Foals
Track 1- Signals
Track 3- Kong
Track 5- Casino
Track 7- 7-hour Drive
If you want to know what life in an Ataris game is like The Notwist’s newest album, Close to the Glass, might be a good place to start.
The Notwist have been around since the late 1980s, but have been known to change their sound more than a little. The band has moved from Post-Hardcore early in their career to experimental electronic indie rock today.
As the first two tracks show, The Notwist aren’t afraid to experiment more than a little with tonality. The first track sounds like something straight out of a Super Smash Bros. game with some airy vocals and dis-tonal synth flourishes.
But on the third track, “Kong,” the band abandons their experimental side and dives into catchy, hook-laden indie rock. The track finds lead singer Markus Acher crooning, a little defeated but hopeful, “Are you coming in to drop us off in another spot?/ It's bliss cause I believe in this/ Cause I believe in this.”
Unfortunately some of The Notwist’s lyrics get lost in the air of the synths and spacy guitars, but they come through clear on the album’s ballad, “Casino,” where Acher sings, “After our life in the casino/ we know gambling is a joke/ but to say I’m not here for the money/ is just another word for broke.”
It’s easy to get lost in the overwhelming, full sound on Close to the Glass, but there’s a pop song at the heart of each track. The album may not strike you on first listen, but like the most rewarding records, it get’s more and more beautiful with each listen.