The German three-piece, consisting of vocalist (I Think, going by photos) Mike Antibody and…two others (I’m honestly having a stab in the dark here; their social media is minimal at best, and I don’t speak German) got in touch with me not too long ago via the GTGC contact form, sending me a Bandcamp link. It was suggested I give their 8-track mini-album “DEW-STORTION // DEW-MORGEN” a listen, so, on the anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death, let’s set the mood for melancholia and find out what this alternative krautrock collective has to offer…
The album opens up with “Zuerst Maschine” which basically translates as ‘First Machine’, and it fittingly starts with some industrial / mechanised backing noise, before ripping into some pacey, regimented percussion and up-tempo riff-work. A nostalgic nod to the origins of the genre; fusing those industrial elements with the early proto-Goth sound, all the while housing a decent melody, which balances the semi-scratchy vocals well…the vocals appear a touch overpowering in places with some of the instrumentation drowned out, but for a self-recorded and produced record it’s an entertaining start.
“Menschenfeind” or ‘Misanthrope’ too provides a wonderfully up-beat dose of reverberated post-punk, with more intensity in its delivery; having a certain punk-heavy simplicity that would appeal to fans of say, early BAD RELIGION. If it’s throwbacks you were after though, look no further than “Umgekehert Kontrovers” which roughly means ‘conversely controversial’ and it delves deeper into the genre’s origins audibly. The tinny, slightly-off key guitar with deeper, darker atmospheric tones harks back to those early days of JOY DIVISION, sounding like it’s been plucked straight out of the era itself; thematically it’s been wonderfully recreated to its credit.
There are one or two lesser tracks offered up but they don’t exactly ruin the album so to speak…”N.I.W.E.S. (Nicht Ist Wie Es Scheint)” or ‘Nothing As It Seems’ is a predominantly slower more lethargic track, with arguably the albums weakest vocals; there’s a bleak drone to them at times, all the while sounding pained and shouted as opposed to sung. Technically then, there’s nothing WRONG with “(…)-?!” per se other than its name…I mean seriously I can’t pronounce that in fucking English let alone German! Am I to literally call it “Left Bracket Ellipsis Right Bracket Dash Question Mark Exclamation Mark” or just guess some sort of bilious guttural noise? Pronounce it like I’m actually vomiting into the microphone? Fuck knows…before we then finish up on “Die Lösen Sich Ja Selber Auf” or, ‘They Dissolve Themselves’ which again, is appropriate as the album dissolves into a brief, quirky bass-heavy outro track, ending the album on a rather abrupt note.
The combination of using the German language lyrically, and playing a style and genre that’s nostalgic and underground at best isn’t going to find DEW a great deal of commercial viability, but post-punk, as dated as it is by today’s scene’s standards has always had a loyal cult following, which should in all honesty accept DEW with open arms. Their sound has been brilliantly crafted to be right at home among those early 80’s playlists and could easily find themselves mentioned alongside the likes of THE DAMNED. DEW haven’t reinvented the wheel, but they are due some recognition.