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Lüger - Concrete Light CD (album) cover

CONCRETE LIGHT

Lüger

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.65 | 12 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After reviewing Lüger's first album and finding it very interesting, it seemed to me that I would be a fool not to pick up and review this one as well. The album notes on the group's bandcamp state that this album was recorded live, which is really very impressive to me given the precision with which these tracks are played. Expect much of the same kind of sound that appeared on Lüger's first album, and while "Concrete Light" falls a bit short of that first effort to my ears, it's still a worthwhile listen from an extremely interesting group.

"Monkeys everywhere" begins the album, and it sounds like it would have fit in very well on Lüger's first release. Distorted guitars, spacey yet intense vocals, and of course very electronic sounding keyboards recall exactly the sort of "prog-electronica-punk" that featured so heavily on their debut. The song does a nice job transitioning between motifs, with the primary driving chant of the song's title augmented by sections of simple electronic melodies and brief forays into more melodic vocal lines. All the while the guitar keeps chugging along in the background, giving the song a consistent rhythmic background that works very well with the often repetition-based style of music Lüger is playing.

"Monkeys everywhere" fades out to nothing but drumming, which continues into the beginning of "Dracula's chauffeur wants more." Additional percussion parts are added onto the main beat to create a compelling percussion base for the track before yet another electronic motif begins playing over it, soon to be augmented by the guitars again. When vocals I can't help but hear some reminiscence to punk music again; while this is much better arranged and composed than most punk I've heard, the driving, repeated guitar riffs do make some references to that genre, in my opinion. Some guitar solos stand out in the track, but unfortunately I think that this second track sounds very much like the first one, a fact which is aggravated by the song's nearly 7 minute run-time. Towards the end of the track it switches into a more unique motif, with the driving riffs exchanged for distorted drones, but on the whole it does seem kind of repetitive.

"Hot Stuff" follows, beginning with some percussion and some electronic effects that have a very "glitch music" feel to them. Bass is added over this, and keyboards soon make an appearance as well, though they're adding a different feel then they have in previous tracks; more Terry Riley-esque ambience than Kraftwerk loop. The guitars also take on a bit of a different role, with a spacier, more psychedelic tone instead of the riffing of the previous two tracks. The track operates on a sort of modular structure, with the backbone of the track always staying the same and additional sounds being layered atop it, but it never sounds overly repetitive or boring. It's also the first track on the album without vocals, but it never lags on account of this. Hot Stuff indeed.

"Shirokovsky pallasite I" begins with something that sounds like a distorted harpsichord before drums and bass add a funky rhythmic line. An acid-washed guitar solo is added over this, creating a fascinating combination of sounds and genres that still blends together into a nearly seamless mix of sound. The guitars really shine on the track, spiraling off into a mad, howling solo towards the end of the track before transitioning into "Shirokovsky pallasite II" which continues the motifs of the first part of the track while adding a harder edge. Vocals make their entry in part II as well, with possibly the best vocal melodies of the album making their appearance here. The vocalist belts out his part with a kind of intensity unmatched by any of the earlier tracks, and the wall of sound behind him is unrelenting, building in intensity while maintaining the themes of "Shirokovsky pallasite I." The end of the track is especially impressive, with the drums going absolutely crazy as the pounding guitars lead the march to the end of the song.

"Zwischenspiel/Quidquid latet apparebit" begins with some droning, distorted electronic sound before some almost folky sounding guitar (or at the very least folkier than anything else on the album) comes in. Organ makes an appearance as well, along with a rather eastern sounding keyboard part. This motif carries on for over three minutes, which is a bit too long for it to sustain itself, in my opinion. At about the halfway point the theme abruptly switches, maintaining the eastern feel but adding more prominent percussion, changing the melody of the guitar and adding a different keyboard part. Unfortunately, this part too just sort of repeats without really going anywhere different, amounting to, in my opinion, a rather overly repetitive track which is only minorly redeemed by a noisy solo towards the end of the track.

Unfortunately, the version of the album I have (which was downloaded from the group's bandcamp page) does not contain the seventh track listed above, "Belldrummer Motherf**ker," so I can't comment on it.

Overall, though, "Concrete Light" is a good follow up to Lüger eponymous debut, even if it doesn't shake up the formula of that album too much. Fans of that one will almost certainly like this one, though if you're just discovering the band I'd recommend starting with their debut, as in my opinion it has a bit more variety and it's a little tighter than "Concrete Light." This is still an interesting blend of styles, though, and anyone looking for contemporary, genre-bending progressive music would be remiss to pass this one up.

3/5

VanVanVan | 3/5 |

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