12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s unusual for a band to churn their way through a number of distinctly different genres over the years (nearly 25 years’ worth, in fact) and not only stay together but continue to make remarkable music. Germany’s Notwist have explored thrash-punk, metal, and various electronic varieties since their 1990 inception; they struck a chord with American indie pop fans on 2002’s synth-driven Neon Golden. Their next full-length, 2008’s The Devil, You+ Me, took Neon Golden a step further, with more guitars and instrumentation (including The Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra). And in 2009, The Notwist made a gorgeous film soundtrack of electronic soundscapes, Sturm. Close to the Glass is—delightfully—an extension of The Devil, with the trio mashing various strains of electro-pop, indie rock, and Krautrock into wonderfully memorable and evocative works. From the energetic confection of “Kong” to the funky, tribal groove of the title track, the shoegazey wash of “7 Hour Drive,” and the mesmerizing motorik pull of “Run Run Run,” this is a beautiful and adventurous outing from The Notwist.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s unusual for a band to churn their way through a number of distinctly different genres over the years (nearly 25 years’ worth, in fact) and not only stay together but continue to make remarkable music. Germany’s Notwist have explored thrash-punk, metal, and various electronic varieties since their 1990 inception; they struck a chord with American indie pop fans on 2002’s synth-driven Neon Golden. Their next full-length, 2008’s The Devil, You+ Me, took Neon Golden a step further, with more guitars and instrumentation (including The Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra). And in 2009, The Notwist made a gorgeous film soundtrack of electronic soundscapes, Sturm. Close to the Glass is—delightfully—an extension of The Devil, with the trio mashing various strains of electro-pop, indie rock, and Krautrock into wonderfully memorable and evocative works. From the energetic confection of “Kong” to the funky, tribal groove of the title track, the shoegazey wash of “7 Hour Drive,” and the mesmerizing motorik pull of “Run Run Run,” this is a beautiful and adventurous outing from The Notwist.

TITLE TIME
3:40
3:01
4:30
3:57
3:14
2:49
3:57
0:50
5:05
2:09
8:52
5:40

About The Notwist

Formed near Munich as a post-hardcore band, the Notwist gradually began to embrace a fusion of classic '80s indie pop songwriting and scruffy electronic backings indebted to Oval and Autechre. The quartet comprises brothers Markus and Micha Acher (on vocals/guitar and bass, respectively) plus programmer/keyboard player Martin Gretschmann and drummer Martin Messerschmid. Their self-titled 1989 debut and 1992's Nook were rough-and-tumble punk LPs. Third album 12 marked the group's first flirtation with electronics, though the chord structures and vocals of Markus Acher marked the Notwist more as an alternative band. The band then gained an American distribution deal with Zero Hour, and after 12 was reissued, fourth album Shrink -- almost entirely abstract electronic in nature -- appeared in 1998. Neon Golden (2002) and The Devil, You + Me (2008) were both song-oriented in nature, albeit with electronics continuing to play a significant role in the band's material. In 2013, the band resurfaced with the single "Close to the Glass." The album of the same name, which boasted some of the Notwist's most accessible songwriting and experimental instrumentation, arrived in early 2014. Later that year, the band issued The Messier Objects, a collection of instrumental tracks written in the years between The Devil, You + Me and Close to the Glass. The live album Superheroes, Ghostvillains & Stuff appeared in 2016, capturing the second of the band's three consecutive sold-out shows in Leipzig, Germany in late 2015. ~ John Bush

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