Wielding cello and sax, eclectic-minded siblings from Berlin spike their pop with rock extravagance – and groovy elegance, too.
The Liebermann brothers have been around for some time now, trying their might on record since 2017 when “The Seven Times Down E.P.” saw the light of day. It’s there that the duo’s difficult-to-define style was born, with cuts like “Samantha” – which crossed over here, to saxophonist Adrien and cellist Raphael’s first long player – brewing up a heady mix of seemingly incongruous genres and making the elements of klezmer, metal and Krautrock gel and smell fine. Despite the presence of “Intro” and “Outro” to tune into the mood and guarantee a smooth comedown by lodging main themes into the listener’s psyche, this album’s not a concept work, though, unless you count having fun as common denominator for such a memorable smattering of songs.
The siblings don’t dwell on stylistic contrast, but while the “Wind Of Change” cover is deceptively vapid – and as obvious as any faux-chamber. mostly instrumental celebration of The Wall’s fall goes – the rapid-fire licks of Vivaldi-esque “Burn It Down” wrap heavy riffs in motorik rhythm, for Raphy’s voice and Adry’s brass to shine. Still, the Liebermann’s classical background can be manifested in various ways, and the intensity of their performances conceal a Frippian intellectualism – and filigree, too.
With Gilles Apap’s violin spilling folksy sentiment all over the fervent title track whose self-deprecating humor has a punk relentless to it, spiked by Alisa Fox’s drums, Raphy and Adry go for a hoedown yet keep an eye on Bartók, before staging a village discotheque in “Life Is Calling” where various hashtags pepper the lyrics to complement the piece’s infectious refrain. Just as catchy, “Dance Off” boogies with enviable swagger betraying the brothers’ firm grip on retro idiom and their unwillingness to restrict this music to any particular period. That’s how the duo’s future can be secured, so here’s hoping a follow-up to “Somethin’ Fancy” will arrive sooner rather than later.