MiG Music 2021
Out to seize zeitgeist and spread heavy blues, young Deutschland team force their sophomore effort into collective consciousness.
A significant rift has happened in the global affairs since 2018 when this German ensemble released their first full-length record, the change which influenced the group – given their social stance – immensely. Yet it also provided the band with a new impetus and a new modus operandi. Laid down live, albeit not in front of the audience, “Wildfire” is as energetic as the album’s title may suggest and is equally immersed in tradition and experimentation, keeping both the artists and listeners on their toes.
There seems to be a strange struggle between gloomy shoegaze and light fantasy on opener “Down The Rabbit Hole” as the new-wave throb is pitched against the hard-rock roar, creating a blend that can confuse a feeble psyche, but powerful riffs set the drift straight and pierce the atmosphere where six strings glimmer through suspense and vocals float and rise to the sun to let it bleed refined feelings. Having hit emotional apex, the quintet quickly coil up their bluesy chops and grind the heavy groove of “Mid-Flight” with enviable gusto, making the number even more infectious by adding funk to the mix, yet they slide downhill on choruses and deliberately lose the momentum before Victoria Semel’s voice and Jens Niemann’s Hammond are cut loose and harness the coda for a frantic ride towards the sweet screamadelica of “Hit Me With A Lightning” which will make everybody tap and sway to the piece’s sludgy passages.
However, Josef Röhner’s mesmeric percussion and metronomic drumming on the record’s folk-informed titular epic produce an entrancing effect, despite the bleakness of its tune, until the ivories begin their cosmic swirl as if to reach for one’s inner flame, yet in fact to put forth a slow stream of melodic lava and gain the pace once again and allow the call-and-response to lead “Lost” to a crazy pleasuredome with Benedikt Schlereth’s guitar and Tim Beckers’ bass vying for space. So while tracks like “Flying V” are unashamedly, defiantly zeppelinesque, and “No Means No” shows the solid force of the collective’s sonic assault, they’re also highly danceable – still, “Keep It Quiet” measures the depth of despair in operatic terms, revealing the group’s real heart and the entire scope of their soaring when things turn serious, and “Neither Man Nor Machine” delivers a Delta-destined waltz.
Such intimacy aside, it’s easy to imagine the sparse “Riot” taken to the stage to incite a commotion of followers who the band are bound to win with this album. It’s truly scorching.