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CD Feature/ The Skull Defekts: "Blood Spirits & Drums Are Singing!"

img  Tobias

Rock is always about going places: Away from your miserable and ordinary life. To exotic countries, other planets. Different layers of consciousness. Uncharted territory and yet another notch up billboard’s weekly sales charts. Taking this into consideration, “Blood Spirits and Drums are singing” can not be considered be a Rock album under any circumstances.

This, after all, is a record which is perfectly happy remaining firmly on its spot, marking time and working itself up over the same riff, the same chord, the same groove and the same lyrics for minute after minute after minute after minute. “The Skull Defekts are all about rhythm and repetition” is all the band has to say about itself, but the fact that the first r-word rather than the second is spelled in capital letters indicates that there is more at hand here than just a few Swedish lunatics weilding their axes in a frenzied state of emergency: Henrik Rylander and Jean-Louis Huhta are the men behind the drum- and percussion machinery, beating the toms like a solid golden fortune-cat on a red pepper-overdose in a Chinese restaurant and Joachim Nordwall is the lyricist with a shortcoming in maths – “one and one is two, three”, he claims in “Rhythm is the Key”, confirming all prejudice against rock n roll singers. A dry and dynamic wall of two guitars replaces the bass, emphasising the tribal character of the music and through the looped harmonic mantras, beams of feedback noises are trying to find their way out. With other bands, every musician tries to give his instrument that unique personal touch, but with the Skull Defekts everyone instead aims at being at one with his colleagues and at never leaving the fold too far. It appears as though the group intends to melt into a funky metal machine without any human characteristics, churning out the beats as if it were an assembly line. The whole point of this intense exercise is to drive out all notions of deductive logic and to loose yourself in “the sound”. The name of a song here is “The Secret”, but the whole point is that there is none.

The easiest way of “understaning” a record like “Blood Spirits” is to perform the following test: Start a piece, listen to it for a few seconds, fast forward to five minutes later and discover that nothing has changed. Then listen to the entire song from beginning to end, allowing your body to become one with the drums, the guitars, the vocals, the rhythm, the beat, the groove, the machinery, the sound. That is the difference between philosophising about whether this can be considered rock or actually undergoing it as a sweet and sweaty experience. It may be marking time, but this album is definitely going somewhere.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: The Skull Defekts
Homepage: The Skull Defekts at MySpace
Homepage: Conspiracy Records

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