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Lüger - Lüger CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.83 | 11 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is another band that I know next to nothing about, Lüger being another random forum discovery that turned out well. This self-titled album is an incredibly unique, original affair, incorporating elements of many different genres yet not solidly fitting into any of them completely. Moving from drifting soundscapes to crunchy riffs, this is a fascinating album and certainly one that deserves a listen.

"Spotted Introspective Female Firecracker" begins the album on a very spacey note- the whole track is basically a soundscape, blending your typical sedate, psychedelic noises with some slightly jarring electronic effects. It's a great blend of sound, but, while it's certainly not boring, 6.5 minutes is a bit long in my mind for this track, just from an album pacing standpoint, especially when the track is labeled as an intro.

"Swastika Sweetheart" begins seamlessly from the closing sounds of this intro, and immediately takes a more driven, uptempo, rhythmic direction than did its predecessor. Making great use of some psychedelic guitar and synth laid over insistent drums and electronic back-beat, the song establishes a pattern that gets kicked into overdrive about two minutes in, with the percussion growing more frenetic and the guitars amping up the distortion. Over this noisy yet precisely controlled music the album's first vocals enter, taking a surprisingly melodic lead given how the album started off. This song sounds painfully obtuse while simultaneously managing to be very accessible, with a veritable miasma of sound coalescing into an incredibly compelling, almost poppy sounding song. Great stuff.

"Die Sonne muss untergehen!" follows, setting a calmer mood with some percussion, synths and bass atmosphere that has a slightly eastern sound to it. Some string sounds make some more noise on top of this for a while before the arrangement opens up a little bit and the track takes on a more melodic motif. This section of the track has a very hypnotic feel to it, making the listener feel like he or she is floating through space. That's a very cliché thing to say about psychedelic music but this track by Lüger is one of the first I've heard that I think the descriptor legitimately applies to. A great example of a track built around a repetitive motif but manages to create a final product in which every moment feels totally original and fresh.

"Bedlam in a sugar plum fairy reception (excerpt)" starts off with some percussion before some guitar and some off kilter, (very) slightly dissonant wordless vocals enter as well. Some kind of keyboard joins in almost immediately and the guitar takes the lead as primary melodic instrument. The keyboards get their chance at this role in the end of song, as the vocals drop out and the song closes in a mass of arrangement; with every instrument doing something totally different to create a sonic whole.

"Why Should I Care" switches back to a more riff-based structure, and the addition of vocals ensures that this is a far more conventional track than either of the previous two were. That said, the band still manages to pack quite a bit of sound into their music, and there are synths aplenty supplementing the drum and guitar backbone of the track. "Why Should I Care" sacrifices a bit of the abstract musical construction that the previous tracks had, but it does so in favor of stronger melodic presence, which in my opinion is an excellent decision that helps the pacing of the album immensely.

"Portrait of a Distant Look" has a very similar feel to "Swastika Sweetheart," as it starts off with a repetitive electronic back beat and adds other sounds and vocals on top of that. This is the music Kraftwerk would make if they decided to be a punk band- there are definite elements of Kraftwerk-esque electronic sequencing, but the other instruments (especially drum and bass) add such an intensity to the song that "Portrait of a Distant Look" is far from the slick, often mechanical tunes of that band. It's a fascinating juxtaposition of styles, made even more interesting by the end section, which manages to keep the feel of the rest of the song while also throwing in some more tripped out, hurtling-through-space synths.

"La fin absolue du monde" closes off the album in a similar vein, combining frenetic pseudo- electronica with guitars ripped straight from the acid-washed 60s. Electronically modified vocals only add to the madness, and for the rest of its duration the song takes various turns into spacey jams, synth solos and everything else you could possibly want from your electro- psych-prog.

So, while I personally feel it begins on a bit of a slow note, Lüger's self-titled album ends up being a very good one, blending electronica with alt-rock and progressive psychedelia in new and interesting ways. It's not often that I get to say this but, aside from some very brief resemblances to Kraftwerk, I really can't think of another band tha sounds like Lüger. Accessible yet incredibly dense, noisy and yet surprisingly melodic, this is a far cry from 70s prog but it's certainly progressive rock in a literal sense.


VanVanVan | 4/5 |


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