Article by Del Chaney
Berlin-based post-gazers I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream released their self-titled, eleven-track debut album back on the 20th of January 2016 to little or no fanfare, which seems very surprising to me, as I believe that they have released something very special indeed. With a sound that traverses the very edges of '90s alt-rock and '80s post-punk but also has its foundations buried firmly within the hazy early days of the first wave of shoegazers I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream collectively create stunning, layered, reverberating soundscapes that build intensely through each verse and soar impressively when required throughout every single chorus break. The band are made up of Bastian Stein - guitar and vocals, Markus Mocydlarz - guitar and vocals, Angy Lord - keyboards, and Sara Neidorf - drums. Their self-titled debut album is available to buy digitally or on cassette and vinyl right now via the band's Bandcamp page.
The album's opening track, 'Paint', is beautifully melodic and musically looks back to that early '90s shoegazing sound with shimmering guitars, addictive drum patterns and a hushed vocal line that helps to keep the overall sound mysterious in quality, leaving the listener wanting more. It explodes through the chorus progressions, soaring blissfully through layered, reverberating walls of luscious dual guitars. 'Paint' is by far my favourite track on this entire release. Track two, 'Drowning', has a distinct post-punk edge reminiscent of early Cure but with a shimmering, bright, reverb-induced hue, whilst 'PKD' leans more towards alt-rock with its powerful, droning guitars swirling around those pounding drums, that driving bass line and the steadying acoustic guitars. I'm a bit confused with the vocals here though, they seem out of place to me. 'Shadow' instills some melody into proceedings and it builds from its opening chord progressions. The hushed vocal tones have returned and all is well with the world as the sparse verse progressions make way for the shimmering, layered chorus parts.
The rumbling, noisy sound waves of 'CRS' herald the arrival of wonderfully structured track. There's a lot going on within its swirling innards as we're treated to a blissful, droning maelstrom of sound gently caressing that impressive vocal line. Up next, 'Bridges Behind' is a stunning track. Driving drums, melodic bass progressions and screaming guitars charge through the sonic ether, carving a noticeable path for those addictive synth lines to melt into with ease. 'Forth Wall' screams noisy, layered shoegaze that's impressively infused with a serene post-punk style bass line and another immense lead break, whilst track eight, 'Careless Talk', slows proceedings down. It simmers on a wave of throbbing bass progressions, sparse percussion and intense guitars as we're treated to another impressive vocal performance. Euphoric synth swells announce the arrival of track nine. The sampled, robotic voices add atmosphere as 'Colonial Law' ambles into the sonic arena leading us nicely into this album's penultimate track, the impressively experimental 'Void'. There's a hint of psych-rock streaming through this track's veins as it opens up into droning guitars and throbbing bass lines coupled with those pounding drums and sporadic tambourine hits. The vocal swirls within a sea of shimmering reverb.
The album's closing track is a sprawling, melodic ball of noise that spins a protective web around that impressive vocal line. The intensely atmospheric 'YLT' ends what is an impressive debut album from this equally impressive Berlin-based post-gazing four-piece. Recommended listening.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream's website
Buy: 'I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream'
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