Saturday, 25 January 2014

REVIEW: Angels Die Hard - 'Angels Die Hard' (Jezus Factory Records)

Named after a 70's biker movie, Angels Die Hard are an Antwerp-based three piece made up of Alex Van Herk, Rob Eelen and Thomas Noope, who have all played in another Jezus Factory act, Strumpets

This self titled eight track LP is definitely an unusual mixture of stuff, definitely best appreciated over the course of repeated plays. While the opening 'Blue Mambo' piles noises from the deepest darkest part of the jungle on top of interesting rhythmic patterns, 'Angel Ride' journeys into space rock lounge bongo jazz territory, providing two of the album's best moments. The mayhem of 'Unga Dunga' perhaps isn't as great, and although some may warm to the noisy percussion, cheap keyboards, and guitar lines built on repetition, it sounds like the band had more fun making it than what the listener gets from hearing it. 

As it takes a trip through heavy post-rock atmospheres, the top notch 'A Walk In The Black Forest' fuses kraut-funk with touches of old school metal and tops it with screaming theremin to create a freakout of impressive proportions, while 'Fr├╝hst├╝ckstelle' puts a Klaus Dinger-esque rhythm to subtle electronics, occasional melodica and hazy, droning guitar before the stormy 'Tropical Hibernation' occasionally brings to mind a prog Deep Purple. 'Angels Across The Pacific' lays dry funk rhythms over ominous chimes, twin guitars and buzzy analogue synth to deliver the most progressive of all the tracks here. Closing the LP, highlight 'The Lonely Angel' is certainly more easy going and relaxed than much else here, as dreamy guitars laze over gentle drums to end with a touch of tranquility.

It may sometimes seem a bit aimless in places on the first listen, but there's no denying that Angels Die Hard's debut takes you from one place to another throughout the course of its eight tracks. An odd and rewarding listen. 7.9/10

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