Herman Dune – Strange Moosic (City Slang)

June 20, 2011 by  

Herman Dune, formally named Herman Düne – and it’s important to acknowledge the disappearance of the umlaut as it symbolises the continuance of a newer band, whose outlooks have changed over their twelve year journey through music – are made up of David-Ivar “Yaya” Herman Dune and “Cosmic” Néman Herman Dune.

After being touted heavily by the late great John Peel, last year saw Herman Dune cut free of all label interest including all of the DIY and indie labels that they had previously used to start their own record company, also called Strange Moosic, and now with the help of City Slang, comes their first self-release.

And it starts with the engaging first single ‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’; it has a simple vibe and is like a less encouraged Kings of Convenience. It’s all very basic, and you have half a notion that this is deliberate on two fronts, one being stylistic and the other being practical, as these songs have to be played live, mostly as a two-piece. The songs flit from track to track with no immediate standout, and though the mid-section of songs picks up a bit, it’s never quite as cute, catchy or clever as it thinks it is.

“Lay Your Head on My Chest” breaks the mould a little – it has a country twang and a nice sentiment that transcends the mundane of the album in general. The problem lies in the unsophisticated chord patterns and near boring song sequences. Simple instrumentation is fine, but it means that if you don’t hit the nail on the head first time in terms of lyrical content and connection, then you leave nothing extra or hidden for the listener to find in subsequent listens. There’s none of those little riffs or licks, no one-offs that gives a DIY record like this its heart. It’s all very safe.

The saving grace is that you desperately want to like this band, but ultimately there are no passengers here, and this is just not the standout album that everyone was expecting. At best, it would be a great album to drive the Southern routes across America to. At its worst, it’s background music for rebellious Sunday schoolers – kooky and non offensive.

[rating:2]


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