TOMZACK - Für ihn gab es nirgends ein Grab mit Blumen

Tomzack - Für ihn gab es nirgends ein Grab mit Blumen

8 songs
38:09 minutes
***** **


Since the mid-Nineties, Guido Lucas has singled-handedly marked the German noise rock sound, mostly as the owner of the renowned Blunoise record company, but also as a member in a couple of bands, most notably Les Hommes Qui Wear Espandrillos. Now he is back with a new project called Tomzack, where he plays the bass guitar. His co-musicians are from bands like Urlaub in Polen, Ken and probably some more obscure acts.

The strangely titled Für ihn gab es nirgends ein Grab mit Blumen contains seven shorter songs titled after the days of the week before ending in an eleven minute improvisation featuring former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki on vocals. This should give us already quite an adequate impression of what to expect. Tomzack are certainly not trying to invent anything new, instead they play purest kraut rock, taking their influences from the forefathers like Can and Amon Düül II, but also the later proponents of the Nineties like Tarwater and Bohren und der Club of Gore. The result turns out to be an unapologetic retro affair, and it’s the musicians’ obvious love for what they are doing that makes the album rather endearing.

Starting with Montag, we get an effect charged instrumental opener, and the following Dienstag does without vocals too, although this track features an impressive guitar line that will instantly get hooked in your mind. Mittwoch finally adds vocals, in a very understated monotonous way, fitting the overall mood. Donnerstag continues in that vein, but it’s gritty guitar sound builds a nice counterpoint. Freitag is more subdued again, before Samstag sounds like an organic tribute to Kraftwerk. The week ends with the shoegazing, psychedelic Sonntag, before the band decides to add another day to the week, Damonacht, in honour of the meanwhile sixty years old Mr Suzuki.

This last improvisation, while interesting and enlightening in its own right, still feels like a way to pad the album to a more regular length. I admit that I prefer the preceding tracks that taken together don’t even make it to half an hour. As a tribute to a bygone era, this record is a sincere and successful endeavour, but once it’s over, you wish it would have gone on for a little longer.

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