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Von Spatzen und Tauben, Dächern und Händen

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Album Review

When Kettcar released their debut album Du und Wieviel Von Deinen Freunden on their own label Grand Hotel in 2002, the album wasn't an immediate success — but it steadily became one, and as a result, the band received so much attention that the release of their follow-up album in 2005 was announced on TV's Tagesthemen (a serious news program!) as an "important release." So, expectations were high for Von Spatzen und Tauben, Dächern und Händen (the title is a play on a German proverb), and Kettcar faced them by following the sound of their first album with few alterations. This time around, there are a few more acoustic-based songs, a few more slow songs, but altogether, the album continues in the same vein as before. Which means that, if you liked Kettcar the first time around, you won't be disappointed, and if you didn't get their appeal before, the sophomore effort is unlikely to convert you. To be sure, Kettcar's music is mainstream indie rock/pop, melodic in its core, with strummed guitars and introspective lyrics. After a while, the sameness of the band's sound becomes tedious, since there are few surprises, and everything feels precisely controlled — still, the band manages to instill its sound with warmth and an overall feeling of sweet melancholy. The album's best songs can be found in its first half — the first single, "48 Stunden" ("48 hours"), a quiet little song about a relationship which ends because she accepts a job offer in a different city, is as strong as "Die Ausfahrt Zum Haus Deiner Eltern" ("The Exit to Your Parent's House"), which captures a feeling of uncertainty and indecision. Most of the songs are little short stories, and the lyrics are the band's strong suit, even though on some occasions, the pathos overwhelms the good intentions a bit. Von Spatzen und Tauben, Dächern und Händen may not be as important a release as some might lead you to be believe, but it certainly stands as an intelligent, immediately listenable effort by a band that just needs to loosen their sound a little bit to become truly remarkable.

Customer Reviews

German band like (later) Jawbreaker or Jets to Brazil

I picked this up when in Germany in the spring of 05. Using my limited language skills in German, I asked what independent release was "hot" on the charts. Three different clerks said "Kettcar" immediately. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the album! After a bit of hunting around, I found it at an electronics (kinda like Best Buy) store. I liked this release the first time I heard it & I've been playing it consistently since I bought it. Their other album and the singles on iTunes are worth a try if you like this album.

Nicht schlecht...

Persönlich mag ich Virginia Jetzt oder Hund am Strand besser. Es ist nett endlich hier deutsche Musik zu finden. Danke iTune Music Store!

One of the best albums in my Deutsch collection.

I listen to a fair amount of German music – LaFee, Silbermond, Rammstein, Anajo, and Juli are among my favorites – but this album tops them all (with the possible exception of Silbermond's “Verschwende deine Zeit”). This group has a way of driving the beat more with guitars than with percussion and does it in a way which builds as the song progresses, but without overpowering the vocals.

I think Kettcar can be compared to Matchbox 20. “Deiche” has the momentum of “Look How Far We've Come” and “Nacht” has the slow, ballad feel of “I Can't Let You Go.”

There's not a single bad track on this album, but a couple are truly exceptional. “Balu” is a beautiful balad which is largely delivered by the solitary picking of a guitar that is occasionally supported by an acoustic piano. Between the title being about a Disney character and the line about Audrey Hepburn, you don't need to understand very much German to get the gist of the song.

“Stockhausen, Bill Gates und ich” is another song with an aggressive beat that is largely driven by guitars, but, again, without being overpowering. The addition of a chorus of children is reminiscent of Pink Floyd's “The Wall” and has an equal, if not greater effect, on the delivery of the song.

If you like Anajo's "Nah Bei Mir," you'll probably like this album as well.


Formed: 2001 in Hamburg, Germany

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Yet another moody, Brit-pop-influenced indie rock outfit to emerge from Hamburg, Germany, Kettcar formed in 2001 with former Rantanplan members Marcus Wiebusch and Reimar Bustorff. Driven by a desire to get away from the raucous punk and ska music that dominated their earlier careers, the two musicians joined up with Erik Langer, Frank Tirado-Rosales, and Lars Wiebusch (Marcus' brother) and recorded an album's worth of material. Kettcar were unable to find a label, however, so they teamed up with...
Full Bio
Von Spatzen und Tauben, Dächern und Händen, Kettcar
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Customer Ratings