“After 21 years, it would appear Barman and Klaus Janzoons have finally run out of variants on their epic rock theme.” – Ian Maleney is not impressed with dEUS‘s new LP Following Sea.
There’s something about the French language that sounds utterly ridiculous when spoken by a man over music. Not sung but spoken. Unless you’re Serge Gainsbourg it may well be impossible to invest the words with any sense of irony. Of course, not even the dirty old man himself would have been caught talking over the sub-Bond theme guitar rock of ‘Quatre Mains’, the opening track on dEUS‘s 7th album.
It would appear that the Belgian group are taking things very seriously, even if you’re not. “Ok, go” says Tom Barman, doing in his best secret agent impression, before the guitars come back in for a thoroughly limp finish. The theme is repeated near the end on ‘Fire Up The Google Beast Algorithm’, with the vocals this time coming through megaphone-style distortion.
Things don’t get a whole lot better on the remaining eight songs. The music is cold and formulaic throughout, completely devoid of personality, with Barman often relying on a spoken word delivery in a failed attempt at intensity. While past glories have led some to declare them the Belgian Sonic Youth, there is nothing to suggest the knowing smile, the aggression or the sheer cool of the seminal New Yorkers. While some of their recent albums haven’t exactly set the place alight, nothing on Following Sea even comes close to the Youth’s most misguided moments.
After 21 years, it would appear Barman and Klaus Janzoons have finally run out of variants on their epic rock theme. Not a single spark of inspiration is to be found here. If these songs are to find a life somewhere, it may well be in the background of action scenes in mid-budget Mission Impossible knock-offs. Does Vin Diesel have anything in the works?
Following Sea is out now on [PIAS] Recordings.