IRA - Visions Of A Landscape

Ira - Visions Of A Landscape

6 songs
59:17 minutes
***** *
Golden Antenna

Bandpage

Koblenz based five-piece took the safe way on their second CD Visions Of A Landscape. Coming four years after their debut The Body And The Soil, the band decided to hire the best soundmen for their sophomore effort. Tobias Levin (Tocotronic, Fasut, Kante) and Chris von Rautenkrantz (Die Sterne, Blumfeld) give the six songs a clear and transparent sound, but when all is said and done, I would have wished for something a little more grating.

Ira put a lot of emphasis on vocalist Toby Hoffmann who has a career as an author and poetry slammer on the side. This becomes obvious on the vocals that have more depth than what you generally get these days on rock albums, but in my opinion he’s singing too much during the songs that average ten minutes. Only Everybody Is In The Mood Of Dying, running just under six minutes, manages to keep up a catchy mood, although the two final tracks, A Drop Of Irony and Encore, which are the other songs slightly shorter than ten minutes, also lift the general impression.

At first it’s hard to categorise Ira’s music, until you think of modern art rock, and it becomes clear that they are not far apart from acts like Porcupine Tree and Oceansize, although the Germans like to add a certain post rock touch, which shouldn’t surprise, considering their epic material. The vocals and guitars are upfront in the mix, with the latter hinting at an Eighties influence, while the rhythm section could well have done with more punch.

Fans of moody art rock that focuses more on atmosphere than on complex structures should definitely give this poetic quintet a chance, while the post rock faction might be turned off by the abundance of vocals. I believe that Ira’s sound would have more impact if they concentrated their ideas on more concise material, but that’s where opinions tend to differ…

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