SUTCLIFFE - Sutcliffe

Sutcliffe - Sutcliffe

9 songs
44:33 minutes
***** **
Beste! Unterhaltung

Bandpage

Let’s face it: you have to love the artwork. Coming across like a friendlier take on the Preacher comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, you don’t know whether you should expect funny cow punk or bizarre desert rock. The Nuremberg quintet opts for the latter, and they don’t even fare bad on their first self-titled longplayer. Too often, bands are content with strictly adhering to one specific genre, but Sutcliffe – named after the original Beatles bassist who died before the band became big – are smart enough to add a twist to their all instrumental music; only Summersun comes with subdued female backing vocals. Although the guitars are the carrying element in the songwriting, the Germans find also room for keyboards and sometimes even accordion. It’s that instrument that elevates the album’s longest track The Ghost Of Old Tom Moses with nearly seven minutes running time to something really grand. Sutcliffe don’t always achieve such a sprawling sonic imagery full of melancholy, but it should be considered a sign of their experience (the band was founded in 2002) that not a single track fails to entertain.

Sutcliffe don’t hide their influences. The ghosts of Calexico, Giant Sand and Friends Of Dean Martinez can be made out throughout the album, but by injecting doses of post rock, garage rock and psychedelia, the band manages to eventually stand on their own legs. Instrumental music has always a hard time getting to its potential audiences (there are just no lyrics to sing along to), but Sutcliffe have made a strong case for themselves with their self-titled record. Hardcore desert rock fans might be at times deterred by the stylistic variety on display, but more tolerant music lovers will see themselves coming back time and again to this surprisingly solid showcase of diversity and talent.

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