By Jason Grishkoff | December 3rd, 2009
I recently stumbled upon Gorilla vs. Bear’s review of Grizzly Bear’s remix of the Notwist’s song, “Boneless” (was that a mouthful, or what?). That got me thinking: I don’t think I’ve shared The Notwist’s most recent (2008) release The Devil, You + Me, with many people, so what better place to do it than on Indie Shuffle? It was the group’s 2002 release of Neon Golden that first got me absolutely hooked: the mix of infectious indie-pop with german krautrock and electronica was mindnumbing. As I recently mentioned in my recent post, Five Amazing Bands that Disappointed, it can be really hard for a band to follow up a successful album with another one. Fortunately for The Notwist, I think they did just that. Barely.
The Notwist formed in 1989 in Weilheim, Germany. Over the years, they moved through several musical incarnations despite maintaining a relatively stable lineup. While their early records held onto a heavy metal/krautrock/dark indie rock sound, their recent efforts, for which they have received the most attention, have been very strongly influenced by the electronica scene. So, how’d they manage to keep up with my expectations for their new release (almost two years ago!)?
[With The Devil, You + Me, the] Notwist don’t really break from what worked so well last time. [The album] features the same sort of smudged, smushed, scraping electronics, at times soft and warm, at others industrial and cold. The lyrical themes are somewhat similar, as well, bouncing back and forth between isolation (“I’m alone at last / with every other me”) and endearment (“the sun was up all night / and I put my arms around you / to hold you tight / on and on and on and on”) – Popdose