Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Kurtz - +1 EP [Soundmaker Records]

The two-man team of Kurtz take the tools of baritone guitar, drums and effects and create a kind of primal post rock meets punk aesthetic. They’re two brothers: Frederick and Ralph Fuller originally from Wakefield now residing in London and this is their debut EP.

Opening track ‘Drumming’ eases you in with a tribal percussive session that gets more and more intense before ‘Run Faster’ brakes out of it with some riffage that somehow reminds me of Joy Division but played by a metal band, its got a slightly spiky edge but drives along with a raw rock mentality into distorted passages and hard hitting drumming. You could also make comparisons to Leeds noisemakers That Fucking Tank; they share some aesthetics at least.

The skippy and almost happy go lucky ‘DDD’ uses a twangy jaunty riff that’s overlaid with sweet pads of feedback. There is a melancholic and restrained euphoria to it somehow, that brakes into the heavier elements of deep riffing and my personal favourite a mad high-sounding tomtom hit that just makes the song for me.

The back end of the EP shows off the more meandering laid back stuff, that Kurtz pull off really well, ‘Music Words Text’ has a mesmerising feel full of melody and loops that build an atmosphere of beauty. ‘Skyscrapper’ takes things even deeper with subtle drones, percussive clicks and fret sounds, which open out into a sludgy doom drenched metal riffing not unlike a more guitar based Legion of Two. There is space, tension and a lovely droning bass feel to it that I really dig, and it all builds into a swaggering beats of a track. The finial track ‘Underneath’ is a looped out collage of sound, really laid back and otherworldly. It closes the EP in a blissful fashion.

Kurtz have made a quality EP that goes from brutal to sublime with ease. The upbeat noisy punked up stuff brings some swaggering energy and the more ambient stuff offsets that and adds tension to create an interesting listen.

Video: Kurtz @ Off Modern

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