Dear Reader, are you at heart a shady character? Have you seen the seamy side of things? Is your outlook bleak? Is your appearance disreputable, your gaze shifty, your shirt unwashed, your hair style bedraggled? Are you familiar with spleen, anomie and ennui? Is your mother worried about you?
I mean, Dear Reader, do you miss Joy Division, early Sisters of Mercy, early Jesus & Mary Chain? Don’t. Listen to Kurtz instead — while reading Poe, Huysmans and Baudelaire.
The members of this unsigned Uppsala trio of decadents are all regular customers in the district misdemeanor court. Their music is dark, hypnotic, obsessive and disturbed.
A typical rehearsal will see these men switch on their drum machine in the default Dr Avalanche mode and write a new song. Three hours later it’s in the can. In this manner, they have produced a pretty respectable body of work over the past eight years: 140 songs.
Listen, for instance, to “He Ate Beefsteak All the Time” (mp3).
As this cut shows, lately they have experimented a lot with “ape stereo”, that is, repeated mono takes of a song mixed on top of each other. This technique highlights just how tight the band is and how expressive the singer. You can rarely hear that there are actually more than one take involved on the instruments, but Mr Banks never lays down two similar vocal tracks, and so, in ape stereo, ends up sounding as if he were purposely singing harmony with himself.
Kurtz’s motto is “Central European Rock. No Roll.” Check out their web site and grab a few more of their songs. Listening to them will make you feel soiled and molested. And still you will come back for more.