IM GRUNDE GENOMMEN - Eigentlich
Sometimes music works like a time machine. Take for instance Im Grunde Genommen, a noisy instrumental post rock trio whose debut album Eigentlich – which ironically is a synonym for the band name - has been released digitally on Bandcamp and as a very limited vinyl edition with a screen printed cover by Luxembourgish artist Jeff Hemmer, who used to play in the early 2000s in bands like Carefree and afurnishedsoul, but later relocated to Bremen in Germany where he works as a graphic artist. Which is how this truly special vinyl record found its way back to Luxembourg.
Im Grunde Genommen haven’t been born yesterday. From the late nineties to the mid aughts, two of the musicians were in indie rock band Ilse Lau who released a couple of albums on the Northern German noise rock label Fidel Bastro. Then they released an album as Diametrics, and now have finally arrived at their newest setup. Usually instrumental post rock performed solely on guitar, bass and drums can be quite tedious, and when, as is the case here, the music has been recorded live at home, there might even be sound issues to worry about. But fortunately, Im Grunde Genommen have strong roots in the nineties and are taking inspiration from bands and labels that started it all. This makes Eigentlich a very authentic sounding record that catapults you straight back into a more innocent pre-Internet era. This attitude might also explain why you find this trio only on their own homepage and Bandcamp presence, and not on Facebook and streaming platforms.
The album is divided into two halves, with the A-side more or less containing the more straightforward material. The opener Unter Umständen is the only track below four minutes and pleases with its strong bass line, melodic drumming and varied guitar playing. The following Wombat is a little more psychedelic, but it’s only with Zweimeterphose, which concludes the first half, that we get also a first highlight. The guitar is omnipresent, the bass guitar doesn’t hide in the background, and the drums are filling it all up from behind. At times this reminds me of Ostzonensuppenwürfelmachenkrebs, if they had been an instrumental outfit.
The B-side begins with the somewhat reluctant Insuffizienz which has some nice guitar parts and a hypnotic rhythm, but pales before what follows. Flug der Tapire starts out slowly enough but then sees the musicians venturing into doomy territory, which works really well for them. The album concludes with the ten-minute long epic Gerta which comes with a mellow three-minute introduction before adding steam, allowing the musicians to jam through the different parts of this behemoth.
So yes, the quality of the recording may not be up to the standards of a modern audience used to hi-fi perfection, but it all sounds highly authentic. Maybe the bass guitar is a little loud and the guitar could at times have more presence, but in the end, when I close my eyes, I feel like being back in my early twenties again, standing in a sweaty club and listening to live music that comes from the heart. And as right now it is hard to get that sensation, considering how we are living in the middle of a pandemic, isn’t this the next best thing? Let’s hope that Im Grunde Genommen will stay with us for a long time.