Monday, September 16, 2013

De Staat- I_Con

Ok, so I was missing out,and didn't know it. Just picked up on this Dutch band, as I kept on seeing their name associated with dEUS, so I kinda figured they'd be good. On this one, wow,  are they ever good?
Now, seeing as chances are better than average that I'm one of the very few non-Dutchmen talking about them (Well, ok, I'm technically Dutch, but I don't live in the Netherlands. Not permanently, and not right now. Technically, I'm an American, which is my point) I'm going to have to back up a bit so you'll understand.
See, Europe has had something pretty exciting happening with actual new rock music. As in, take a band like Cage the Elephant out of Kentucky. Good band, and they're pretty young, so, in that way, they're a new rock band, but in terms of adding something to the rock lexicon, not so much. Bands like dEUS, Silence is Sexy, Pandora.s Box, Kashmir, Ghinzu, and yes, De Staat are actually adding something new to the accepted term of Rock music. In De Staat's case, they're mixing pseudo African and tribal rhythms with krautrock styled keyboards and guitars, with 1980's styled RnB and soul, with more than a little Captain Beefheart styled freak-blues, and  hard rock, nearly pop-metal guitar tones. Sounds like a lot, right? That's what I mean by adding to the lexicon of the Rock idiom- unlike, say, Vampire Weekend, where it's not really new, it's just a slightly different angle on the same play- adding non- whitepeople beats to whitepeople conventions, this is a far more idiosyncratic exercise. It's like  early 1980's Killing Joke, meets late 1980's Oingo Boingo, meets Captain Beefheart, meets dEUS, meets QOTSA, all while playing Thompson Twins covers. Can you picture that? Because without hearing them, I couldn't. Definite innovation at work. Another way of saying it- whereas dEUS has worked out that they'd like to be more Roxy Music than Captain Beefheart's magic band, they still have elements sticking out that tell you, they're not done becoming whatever it is they want to become- De Staat have figured out what they are, but haven't yet found a way to translate that into something we can digest easily.
Another way of looking at it- remember when Talking Heads were on the cusp of becoming a pop band, but weren't, yet? That's where De Staat are.
So, I haven't heard their earlier stuff. Maybe it's even better, but here's what I know by way of Biography: We start with Singer/guitarist/songwriter Torre Florim. He starts this as a one man project, then assembles the band around him. They play live, a lot, and release a couple of EPS and LPS. Along the way, they catch the eye of dEUS, and Chris Goss ( the same guy who could be argued to have discovered Kyuss) . Along the way, they added a lot more synths to pair with their guitar rock. That's really about all I know- but can you see how that puts them on my radar?
So, I don't know if the name is a reference to Louis Andriesson, or Michael Ian Black.  In a way, it could be both. I don't know if they're meant to be light hearted or serious Art- maybe both?
You can get it where I got it. You could get it from Amazon  but it's now worldwide.  So, why would you get it? Well, maybe because you like the songs- Try out Devil's Blood  and Witch Doctor and Down Town  and Make Way for the Passenger . I would suggest that you get the full LP though- each song is good, but this is definitely a case where the whole is more than the sum of the parts.  I know that most likely you won't get it simply based upon my say so, because I'm just some guy on the Internet, but I'm hoping I have at least got you interested enough to check it out.

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