¥780 snog. last of the great romantics. cd. february2k10.
|we’re all in this together||*.mp3|
|the end of the world||*.mp3|
|big black hole||*.mp3|
|this world (done me wrong)||*.mp3|
|the prisoner song||*.mp3|
|sing your troubles away||*.mp3|
packaging: deluxe 4panel gatefold-sleeve in matt cardboard & 16page booklet
music personnel: david thrussell, chris arkley-smith, adam fischer, neil boyack, john justin stewart, josephine petrina, chris green and klaus liebezeit.
realized with invaluable assistance from the international mind control
recorded over 2008/2009 in melbourne, berlin and prague, snog’s “last
of the great romantics” is truly a landmark album. like radiohead’s “ok
computer” and pink floyd’s “wish you were here” (to both of which it
has already been compared) “last of the great romantics” sees a beloved band at their conceptual and creative peak. from the blazing space-rock-ballad of opening track “we’re all in this together” to the
languid moog-boogie of “the end of the world” to the disco-metal pyrotechnics of “wargasm” snog forge their own path and their own sound, bold, uncompromising and just a little bent. recorded entirely in analogue facilities using a vast collection of vintage studio equipment with special guests including john justin stewart (grace jones), neil boyack (angler), the city of prague philharmonic choir and
produced by the calculators (the faint, schneider tm) “last of the great romantics” is a lush, sincere masterpiece.
early 2010 also marks twenty years since snog first entered a recording
studio to put down “corporate slave”, their first ever single and a
left-field industrial/electro/agit-prop dancefloor hit way back in
1992. don’t make too much noise about it (because it makes the band feel a bit long-in-the-tooth) but do pause for a moment to ponder the ever-changing (and to some people the just plain confusing) nature of
snog. never generic in any form snog have in various incarnations donned the costumes of electro/industrial/spaghetti western/folk/country and electro-punk-funk music but the core has
remained steadfast - songs that grapple with the innate and important stuff (or at least “how low can humanity go?”). so take a few moments out from your busy day to wonder what this crazy world of ours would be like without the sometimes sneering, sometimes sentimental sounds of snog and if the urge strikes you, go stand naked in the sunshine eating an organic mango - because that’s what david thrussell is doing right now too.
um es auf eine einfache formel zu bringen: snog dürfte für ant-zen in etwa das sein, was maximo park für warp records darstellen. nämlich ein ziemlich unüblicher act. mit dem unterschied, dass der name maximo park einem wesentlich geläufiger ist und man vorher weiß, was man sich da zur rezension herangeholt hat. ist warp als elektro-label bekannt, so ist es bei ant-zen ja auch eher so, dass man für verschrobenen elektro mit schwerpunkten bei industrial und ambient bekannt ist. umso überraschender kommt dann eine cd wie last of the great romantics daher, die so recht weder das eine noch das andere darstellen will, sondern vor allem ein rock-album ist. wenn auch ein eigenwilliges. so erwischte ich mich beim opener we’re all in this together erst einmal dabei, wie ich noch einmal in die playlist schaute, um mich zu vergewissern, dass das wirklich snog sind, die da gerade laufen. denn tatsächlich begegnet hier ein treibendes stück rock-musik mit indie-faktor, melancholischem und hall-effekten. und tatsächlich: wir haben es hier tatsächlich mit einem vielseitigen gitarren-album zu tun, das vielfältige arten der umsetzung zeigt. wargasm beispielsweise geht das ganze mit deutlich mehr elektronischen einsprengseln an und wirkt auch im gesang weitaus finsterer. big black hole hingegen wirkt im chorus beinah metallisch. obgleich es hier ein ziemlich prototypisches gitarren-album ist, so sind doch einige für ant-zen typische konstanten dabei, die hier auftauchen. einige ambient anmutende passagen in den stücken sind genau so anzutreffen wie industrial-nahe härten auf dem album. und auch die teilweise begegnende vertracktheit der arrangements ist nur zu passend. dennoch: von einem album für das typische ant-zen-publikum kann man hier nicht sprechen. eher ist es vor allem ein album für diejenigen, die gerne gitarren-bands hören, die sich weg von ausgelatschten indie-pfaden bewegen und den mut haben, mal etwas neues auszuprobieren. wer acts wie health mag, wird sicherlich auch an snog seine freude haben! (marius meyer)
a review in russian language can be found on the machinist's website:
snog, the australian project by david thrussel is already celebrating 22 years of existence. naturally the project shifted sounds once in a while in between. with last of the great romantics, brought to you with the support of the mind control corporation, the titling immediately gives away what you might expect of the album, a recollection of romantic goth in its pure form, a mixture of dark moody electro and gothrock atmosphere. this combined with the recognizable voice of thrussel to create a dark and introspective piece of art. to define this album's sound, think about old nine inch nails records combined with radiohead and the more tragical songs by the faint. last of the great romantics leaves an astounding impression. rich in lyrical content, atmospheric yet grasping tones and a doomy undertone immediately catch attention on the starting space rock ballad track "we're all in this together". this negativity is set forth until "wargasm" shifts in a danceable electronic groove. to make the result even more spectacular david thrussel added some explosive melodies and soundscapes to the songs, finishing the record with his interpretation of a prison gospel ballad "sing all your troubles away", an uplifting song which makes you think of the melancholy of death row. snog again shows to reprofile itself as a master talent with this album, and in my opinion this cd can be called a masterpiece. the album brings you down to the deepest parts you knew to exist in your mind, and washes you down just a little further. to complete this piece of art snog packaged this jewel in sleak industrial designed digi-packaging. (hazzard)
have i ever told you that i am totally confused whenever i listen to a new snog album? no? so i tell you a secret, every time i listen to a new album of this mega-band project i feel like listening to a broadway musical after the last atomic bomb detonated on broadway. snog always leaves me with a lot of question marks and an answer. this electro-punk-glamrock-industrial band is hard to handle. love them or hate them – but the quality and message of their music is unbeatable! a few years after their first release i fell in love with their music, because nothing seems as it looks at first sight. they have enough eggs in their trousers and wit to play hide and seek with their audience… the message is the key and if you get it you got it. no pathetic words just eye-winking word games with a serious background. your laughter stuck in your throat! “last of the great romantics” is the newest masterpiece of snog and all i can say it is the most complex and beautiful album of this band. yes, beautiful. the lyrics are melancholic and sharp like a knife if you get the meaning… the sound owns warmth, very meditative and cheerful at once. the whole album owns a kind of end time pop feeling – absolute stunning! and with the help off the the city of prague philharmonic choir the whole becomes a very sentimental and mighty declaration. personally this is my favorite album of snog… but who will decide? we are talking about the most important politic bands in the world. can’t rate this extraordinary and important album – its too good!
recorded over 2008/2009 in melbourne, berlin and prague, snog’s last of the great romantics presents a truly unique blend of electro punk/pop, with added hints space rock and gentle ballad. the album is layered up with a vast expanse of electronic texture, as well as some notable guitar work, carefully mixed in to compliment the rich synths. nothing is overlooked on this album, which even manages to reach the dizzy heights of pure angelic brightness. although the vocals in some instances touch on the grating, they also dash crazily between the soothing and the outstanding. "were all in this together" sets the theme with its space rock styled excursion, although punchier bass would launch this track further into the atmosphere. a great burst of lead guitar bestows a pleading personality, expressive notes screaming for help while spaceship blips add to the ambience. the evenly placed beats which form "the end of the world" revolve around a bed of ambient sounds which introduce the track. the deep husky vocals contrast alongside additional layers of sound, expanding the track beautifully. the almost funk like intro of "wargasm" is integrated nicely with its 1980's styled electronic build up before it explodes into life, the highs arrive in rich bursts of understated beats and statement like guitars. "sleepwalk" offers a suitably dark intro, a digression through the deepest darkest depths of the mind before a complete contrast as it turns angelic; virtual great white lights are generated by the rich choral backing plus a crescendo to follow. onwards through a turbulent wind tunnel of extravagant rock the appropriately titled "big black hole" is almost alien like; the monstrous styled vocal may be an acquired taste for some, but nonetheless its theatrical take on space rock is also an attractive one. it’s a colorful wheel of synth, guitars and bleeps, climaxing with more choral accompaniment. "this world" succeeds in exhibiting the most effective combination of just two notes – slightly marred by the ultra low, almost whisper styled vocal. superb underlying melody; this track is a huge canvas on which to paint and dwell on, with sounds and samples that build into a creation that’s as catchy as you could want. a hit of techno sample comes in mid way accompanied by experimental guitars; it’s a time traveling adventure, with a hint of paranoia managing to sneak in before disappearing rapidly. yet again, the backing choir like vocals enabling this track to expand elaborately. enter a more timid vocal with "cosmic caveman." there’s a psychedelic styled guitar solo with backing that reaches and stretches, while the track also gives a brief nod to the likes of the beloved. the track skips along in a relaxed manner before speeding into a catchy chorus and guitar sprint. switching over to ballad is "a man," with rich acoustic guitar providing a definition that was perhaps unexpected in this context. there’s a signature vibrant melody – short, but extremely effective. the dub beat of "the fires" touches on techno in the briefest way. its high pitched blips of accompanying melody make this the most commercial sounding track on this album; a definite clap-along which imposes lasting memory. "prisoner song" has a tranquil setting. the piano progression is a common one, giving a sound that’s more pop before it switches to the robotic, giving birth to a new concept. last of the great romantics is a fully loaded collection of unconventional arrangements, built on blending pop ballads with strong melodic hooks. an album that’s guaranteed to keep one looking for the next unexpected diversion into electronic wilderness, with its experimental assessable and a futuristic presentation of tongue in cheek anti-capitalist sentiment.
you could never accuse david thrussel of following the herd. staunchly anti-capitalist, anti-music industry, and more than willing to indulge his apparent love of god-knows-how-many different genres of music and also a wickedly droll sense of humour on every release he can, he has returned under his long-running snog moniker for 'their' first album in three years or so. apparently "recorded entirely in analogue facilities using a vast collection of vintage studio equipment", and featuring some pretty unexpected guests (the city of prague philharmonic choir, for one), there is no doubting that this album takes some getting used to, even by snog standards. for those of you looking for another "cliche", or even "late twentieth century boy", look away now, as it appears that there is no interest in revisiting that past. the past being mined here is a somewhat less electronic, more, um, romantic past. whether this is a deep feeling of romanticism, or just another of those deeply tongue-in-cheek pastiches, it's difficult to tell, but is easy to tell is that the first two tracks drift by without really anything to say about them. well, other than that thrussel's deep, rich vocal is present and correct, but the bleeps and thunder of the drums is set well back behind him in the mix. "wargasm", some ten minutes and three songs into the album, brings us somewhere near familiar ground. a viciously satirical take on the "pornography" of war footage, it's the one truly brilliant moment on the album, with a glittering, ultra-bright explosion of a chorus accompanied by thundering drums and synths that shimmer all over. that glimpse of the old snog, though, is snatched away quickly, as "sleepwalk" trundles along (even if it's impressively assisted by the aforementioned choir), while the metallic backing of "big black hole" is matched by a near-guttural growl from thrussell, and that choir again - but yet again the recording doesn't do a track with such potential justice. it feels rather thin unless listened to really loud, although the whole thing is nearly redeemed entirely by the staggering choral close of the track, that is swiftly sucked into a cleverly distorted finish, clearly mimicing a black hole. "this world (done me wrong)" is one ballad too many at this point in the album, being not a lot different from the ballads before it, but it's "cosmic caveman" that gives away the thrust of the album as a whole - that really, thrussel doesn't give too much time to the modern world, perhaps despairing at the constant human need to have the next shiny thing in their hand rather than actually advancing the human race, and the world around us, in other ways. indeed, by this point, it becomes clear that perhaps i've been listening too much to the music, and not enough to the lyrics. this is a really dark album, even by thrussel's standards. when you look back at the lyrics in the booklet, it's *all* full of despair and distaste, a hope perhaps that some vengeful god might come down and sweep all of this world away (hello, "the fires"), or just get him away from a world he clearly has no time for (hello, "the prisoner song"). so what to make of this? lyrically this album, despite the pervading darkness, is full of acid wit and some marvellous observations on modern life, but musically it feels tired, and aside from the odd exception, it's nothing too spectacular. but then, even snog on a musical off-day is a damned sight more interesting and relevant than many other bands. and, of course, who knows that david thrussel might choose to do next? (adam williams)
das australische projekt snog ist ein musikalisches chamäleon im wahrsten sinne des wortes und das schon seit dem jahre 1992 bzw. ihrem debüt „lies inc.“. dieses erschien damals noch beim legendären machinery label und hat selbst heute noch relevanz, wie es immer noch aktuell klingt! über die jahre spannte sich der klangliche bogen von snog über electro, techno, ibm bis hin zum country western-folk und blieb trotzdem unverwechselbar. waren mir persönlich die letzten veröffentlichungen im digitalen 80er jahre electro pop-stil etwas zu steril, reißt jetzt die neue cd das ruder wieder in eine komplett andere richtung, denn „last of the great romantics“ ist ein richtiges rock-band-album mit psychedelischen untertönen geworden. deutlich rauer erdiger und ungemein spacig zieht das album seine bahnen und steigert sich dabei spiralförmig immer höher in eine hypnotisierende ebene. die 11 songs sind größtenteils im mittleren tempo-bereich gehalten und entwickeln erst nach mehrmaligen hören und vor allem nur im album-kontext ihre richtige größe wie wirkung. an die ehemals goldenen zeiten der richtigen konzept-alben gemahnt deshalb auch das cardboard-gatefold-cover der cd mit umfangreichen booklet und da passt auch die mitwirkung des chors der prager philharmonie gut ins bild. „last of the great romantics“ lässt sich am besten irgendwo zwischen klassiker-werken von nine inch nails, radiohead und pink floyd verorten und ist weniger geeignet für moderne konsumenten mit ipod bzw. blog- und myspace-hör-gewohnheiten. (m.fiebag)
official websites: www.worldwentdown.com/imcc +
snog biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/snog
snog discography: www.discogs.com/artist/snog