Actually – I’ve just noticed that this album is really entitled: ‘ We’re Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise,’ but I’m buggered if I’m going to keep writing that lot out!
NOSFERATU D2 are two brothers from Croydon – Ben Parker (vocals / guitar) and Adam parker (drums.) Or at least they were NOSFERATU D2 until they decided in 2007 that the band ‘project’ didn’t carry the same excitement as it did when they first started gigging back in 2005. This then, is the ‘album that never was,’ the ‘lost’ album that was never released during the band’s lifetime, but has now seen light of day thanks to the enthusiasm of the Audio Antihero label.
And that my friends, probably explains why although the majority of this album is exciting and interesting, it never the less has a slightly ‘dated’ feel about it. A few years ago, this may well have been an innovative arrangement – something fresh and different. But now, some three years or so after the band ceased to be, much of this style of music has been… well, heard before.
Certainly, NOSFERATU D2 garnered some fantastically positive reviews from many people ‘in the know’ back then. Credible musicians from the likes of Art Brut and Los Campesinos added their endorsements to the support of Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and XFM’s John Kennedy, both of whom gave the band airplay.
The album itself, I can’t help but feel, opens and closes very strongly, but somehow loses itself in the mid-tracks. Opener, ‘Broken Tamagotchi,’ stands the test of time and would surely merit airplay these days. It’s fast of tempo, with Ben’s guitar getting threshed quite discordantly while Adam frantically beats the skin off his snare as Ben delivers the vocals in a quirky and off kilter manner.
Oh – the vocals. The lyrics. Yeah – in general, they’re kind of introspective, reflecting some rather depressing thoughts, but at the same time (well, sometimes) with a wry sense of humour and acceptance of the inevitable!
Second up is ‘Footnote,’ which sees the pace maintained and the vocals sung / spoken in Ben’s colloquial tones, but contrasting the rather morbid nature of the words!
‘Colonel Parker’ starts out slowly but picks up midway, and although the lyrics have more of a light-hearted and self-deprecating tone, this for me at least heralds the point in the album where the songs lose the impact of the opening two.
In fact, I’d say it’s not until ‘The Mojo Top 100’ at track seven, that my attention was properly re-captured – probably because of the increased vibrancy and more innovative delivery. ‘Springsteen,’ has a dark edge to the backing while Ben rants and raves like a maniac about what’s happening to his hometown.
The penultimate track must rank as having one of the longest titles ….ever: ‘We’ll Play The Power Of Love By Frankie Goes to Hollywood a Thousand Times Tonight,’ is a great track. I have no idea what it’s about really, but the throbbing instrumental that kind of overlays the vocals is dark and moody. And a little spooky. And with lines like: ‘It’s alright when all of your friends are Goths, ‘cause some of them might honestly believe you’ll come back and talk to them. It’s nonsense, but it’s comforting to hear,’ it’s just got to be a winner!
Final track ‘It’s Christmas Time (For God’s Sake)’ sees Ben really pissed off and in full-on, cynical, depressed mood! Lovely stuff!
It’s a shame that we’ve had to wait so long to hear this album / band, but while there appears a lack of direction mid-album, it – and they – are well worth checking out. I’m sure you’ll find they were / are the template for some of today’s current crop.
(Released through Audio Antihero and out now – September 2010)
(7.5 / 10)