The Notwist – Close to the Glass
The Notwist return with an excellent addition to their critically-acclaimed oeuvre
Where some bands trade in vitriol, the Notwist prefer icy chill. Their sound is clinical and emotionally lobotomised – you can imagine it being produced, drip by drip, in a bright white laboratory somewhere deep under the ground. Close to the Glass is the German band’s first record since 2008’s excellent The Devil, You + Me, and is more varied and ambitious, with the pitfall being that it’s at times less cohesive.
7-Hour-Drive is the most jarring track the band have produced in over a decade, but lives briefly in the memory, given the quality of the rest of the album. There’s a sense of eeriness when the disembodied voice of Markus Acher sings, on Signals, “We want to be you / We want to be like you”, that returns, notably, on Run, Run, Run. But it’s the production that steals the show: the back five tracks, particularly the sublime instrumental Lineri, are a wonderful reminder that despite their frequent and long hiatuses, nobody makes music quite like the Notwist. [Finbarr Bermingham]