Somewhere between the haze of 60’s psychedelia and its later re-appropriation by the likes of post-punkers such as Echo and The Bunnymen, between the drive and groove of blues gone slightly off the rails and the sumptuous dreamscaping of the more interesting end of the modern indie spectrum, where rock starts to reinvent itself based on half forgotten blueprints, you find Die Nerven. Theirs is a timeless world, one that draws lines between the dark underbelly of the Summer of Love and the gothic drama of the early 80s, between the more melodic end of the grunge scene and the less fashion driven sectors of modern alt-rock.
It would be all too easy to just label the band as just another bunch of rose-tinted, retro minded, post-punk fans, but that era never produced anything this textured, this intricate, this genre-hopping. Whilst songs like lead single Niemals is built on a wonderfully melodic and accessible framework, tracks like Frei sound more fractured and Doorsian, had the Doors actually formed in Stuttgart a generation or two later.
Alles Falsch plays the old American alt-rock loud-quiet game to brilliant effect, Dunst is a claustrophobic, hypnotic and intense onslaught and Skandinavisches Design takes them into the realms of skuzzy, drug-fuelled punk.
As an album it covers a lot of scope musically, from the melodic and accessible to the challenging and underground. Discerning alt-rockers, ageing 80’s indie kids, hipsters looking for the next musical fix, goths, rockers and outsiders will all find lots to like here. In fact its hard to imagine anyone who shouldn’t at least give the band a go.
Coldplay fans perhaps!