Review: dEUS – Keep You Close

Alternative rock still thrives. One of the greatest and most ignored bands in the genre has been the Belgian rockers dEUS. Starting out with an artsy style crammed with unique lyrics and crazy instrumentation they have evolved into a mature band. Some of their early fans do not approve of the direction they have gone on their last few albums, but I think they are progressing like any great band does.

Keep You Close continues the alt-rock stylings of Vantage Point but it’s a little more toned down. With each successive album they have settled into their own niche in rock music just a little bit more. There is a mild dark aspect to this album with guitars cascading from light and airy to crunching sonic bends of sound. Tom Barman, the only original band member left, has honed his raspy vocals and made them his own. He has always had a very unique voice and now he is using that to the band’s advantage. dEUS has always been an entirely original ensemble and they continue to prove that. Though their styles do not stand out as much these days they bring in different aspects and sounds to make each album their own.

dEUS has proven to the world that they are worthy of regard alongside the great bands of recent history. For some unknown reason they never will be. Even though they have an amazing sound, solid songs and stand out of a crowd, they have always been on the fringe of popularity. This is totally fine as total fame would probably ruin their individuality. I encourage everyone to give a song or album of theirs a listen and you will be pleased by what you hear. dEUS are a fantastic band and if they keep progressing with each release as they always have they will be around for many years and will continue to establish new landmarks in the giant pulsating head of music.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Standout track: Easy

http://www.deus.be
http://soundcloud.com/deusbe

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Review: Drugstore – Anatomy

The past decade has been a tumultuous journey of false hope and heartbreak. The sobering realities of life have set in and forced us all to grow up, putting our convictions through unbearable tests. We are no longer the wide-eyed naïve children of the 20th Century. The 21st Century has battered our bodies and our hearts, but it has taught us to be a stronger species. All of us have gone through trying times in recent history. We must not fall into their traps and forge a path out of the darkness, finding peace and perspective on the other side.

Isabel Monteiro of Drugstore went through many difficulties in the past 10 years. She has managed to bounce back and learn from her pressing experiences. It has made her a wiser and stronger woman, and it shows in her music. She has abandoned quaint and dreamy guitar riffs in favor of more simplistic musings. Her effervescent spirit still shines but now there’s an introspective shroud draped over her shoulders. She has settled down to a more serious tone, bent on showing us a glimpse of the hard life and how to overcome it.

Isabel’s story and the music influenced by it are an inspiration. Her silvery voice wraps around each word and lines your ears with insight, words of experience from a sage who has been down the road before. She has given us a reason to never give up and always forge ahead. Each day is a new adventure, a new chance to make the world right. If you wake up each day with that frame of mind, you can turn your life into whatever your heart desires.

Standout Track: Clouds
Rating: 4.5 stars

http://rocketgirl.co.uk/label/release/rgirl79
http://anatomyalbum.blogspot.com/

Review: Low – C’mon

Label: Sub Pop
Catalog No: SP905

Low have always been a band for the moper in all of us. Their depressing lyrics and slowcore music style have always been a welcome friend on those dark and lonely nights. After the political statements and alienation of Drums and Guns, it seemed as if they collapsed into a dark and heavy abyss, never to return to our world again.

This was the case for four years until C’mon emerged from the thawing lakeside city of Duluth. A shimmer of optimism gleams from their ninth album. Melancholy stills hangs overhead though its bleakness is nowhere near as asphyxiating. It provides a small message to all of us hiding under our beds, afraid of the big bad world. This is Low telling us to make our appearance known and join the fight towards making the world better for all. It will be an arduous task full of setbacks and heartache, but we must strive forth. Never give up until you are happy and everyone else around you is just as happy.

As the title suggests, come on. It’s about time we finally do.

Standout track: Majesty / Magic
Rating: 4.5 stars

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/03/134985366/first-listen-low-cmon
http://www.subpop.com/releases/low/full_lengths/cmon
http://chairkickers.com/