The Notwist have juggled genres with aplomb over the years, forever anchored by frontman Markus Acher’s steady, unwavering vocals. Their eighth album, Close To The Glass, is the closest in style to 2002’s classic Neon Golden. There are moments of inspiration throughout and a select few triumphs that would make great singles, but the album is plagued by inconsistency.
Electronic bleeps in the style of Morse code open proceedings and it soon becomes clear how confident The Notwist are with their beat-splicing sound, particularly on the striking one-two opening punch of ‘Signals’ and the title track. The album’s highs and lows come out of the more conventional guitar-based songs, with the immediate ‘Kong’ standing out as their sharpest pop moment yet and a big contrast to the album’s nadir, the drawn-out My Bloody Valentine-aping dirge ‘7-Hour-Drive’. Unfortunately, the latter song is indicative of the album’s uninspired, wavering second half, which fast leaves you hankering for the frenetic energy of the initial three songs.
There are certainly enough strong tracks here to cobble together an exceptional EP, but the full album merely follows the template of their best record while never coming close to matching it.
Close To The Glass is out now on Spunk.