vrijdag 20 januari 2017

EP #1. Reiger

Reiger recently played the support slot of the Bettie Serveert gig in Patronaat. Unfortunately I only got to hear three songs of Reiger (when a show starts is so hard to predict. Sometimes right on time, sometimes it takes 30 or 45 minutes) which was a shame as I certainly liked what I was hearing. Alternative rock in the way that is popular ever since the early 90s when bands like Buffalo Tom started to draw attention.

Reiger released a first EP last year, simply called EP #1. Does it deliver on the promise of the three songs I heard live? Oh, yes! What the record does not capture is the energy that was released on stage and a certain wild abandon that the band displayed. The EP captures the essence of the songs and is able to deliver a sound atmosphere. There is one major difference. Reiger on record is one person, Mathijs Peeters, who plays all with strings. Only the drumming, Otto de Jong and the studio atmospherics and things keys, played by co-producer Matthijs Kievit, are left to others. That given makes a live studio performance of a band impossible and has its effect on the whole.

Mathijs Peeters used to be a member of The Gasoline Brothers. I am sure I've seen the band play at least once. As support act to The Tragically Hip in Utrecht somewhere in the 00s?

Now after reading the above you may conclude that I don't like the music presented on EP #1. Far from. Reiger has laid down five tracks that are all above the average. Let's break the EP into five pieces to find out why.

'Calm Down' is the first song. It is an upper tempo song with a lot of guitars that play these little extra sustained notes that create pleasant melodies on a guitar. Yes, Buffalo Tom and the like shoot up in my mind. Bands I haven't played for ages. They've sort of come and gone. The different sounding guitar solos make the song even more interesting, a cleaner one and a dirty one for contrast. The light and the shade move around in 'Calm Down'.

'Complicated' reflects on the glam rhythms of T. Rex. At the same time Queens of the Stone Age come by including a Mick Taylor era Stones guitar motive that moves in and out of the song. Simple yet effective. The rhythm chugs forward like a steamboat on the Mississippi. It is hard not to like this song. So elementary yet it seems to have it all.

This rhythm comes back in a somewhat wilder form in 'Tapes'. Here the QOTSA reference is even clearer as the rest is stripped away. The stop-start accents in the rhythm guitars is so compelling. It makes me want to move the whole time. 'Tapes' is an extremely danceable rock song. The overdubbed guitars add to the atmosphere. From little leadlines to a full blast solo. Reiger really cooks up a storm here. Idea upon idea floating in and out of the song, so I have to prick up my ears the whole time to keep up. The (vocal) melody of 'Tapes' is so fluent that QOTSA may even lose out by comparison.

With 'Hollow Man' the tempo really goes down. That does not prevent a distorted guitar from erupting even before the vocals come in. This Reiger type ballad is the kind that drags its rhythm along. Slow, as if everything happens just after it is supposed to, creating an effect of laziness that really lifts the song up. A hollow man, who is not for this world, caught in music. Again many ideas on the guitar come by, adding to the atmosphere and class of 'Hollow Man'.

O.k., all serious things aside. Time for some punked up rock. 'Hey Hey' puts the pedal to the metal. Before I could write this sentence it was already over. 1"25 is all it takes to sing "Hey hey, my my" followed by a, distorted, shout in frustration. The drums roll, the rest blasts, over.

In short: great fun. I can't wait to hear more. A little longer: a lot of work has gone into the details of EP #1, an EP that is very varied in sound and style, yet coherent and that has paid off. Mathijs Peeters is too advanced in age to write a talent is born. There's promise in abundance though.


For only $ 4,95 this can all be yours:


1 opmerking:

  1. On Twitter we found this message by @Reigermusic1: "Wow! @WoNoMagazine wrote a great review of EP#1. Thanks for the kind words!"

    Well, the pleasure was all mine.