I quit Arktika in 2010 and, although we never officially announced our disbandment, amodestproposal played their last show in 2009. And ever since that time, not counting one very brief stay in Mannheim, I have not picked up my instrument again. Things happen and it just wasn’t meant to be, it seems. Do I miss it? Not really, at least not on a constant basis. It’s not that I feel bad about things. But in flashes, in short moments, the urge to pick up my bass and play some patterns and chords, returns. Those short flashes usually come from a record I’ve been listening to. Or maybe a movie I’ve been watching. Both happened it the past few weeks.
I’m going to skip the movie, because it’s the more irrelevant reason for me to write this post. For those who are interested, it’s called “Punk im Dschungel” (Trailer. There seems to be a copy on youtube which starts here) and follows the adventures of Cluster Bomb Unit, a crust/hardcore outfit from southern Germany, during their tour of Indonesia. Anyone interested in punk rock culture should give it a try, it’ll really lift your spirits.
The reason I wanted to write this post is new records. New records by the band I used to play with and by some guys I used to play with. Let’s sort things out.
First Arktika released their new album a few months ago and this is the first release by them on which I wasn’t involved in anything. Which, one might say, makes the breakup complete. And that is absolutely fine with me. By widening the gap I’m maybe able to get a more objective view on the music. Which, on the other hand might be completely impossible, since the music you like is defined by your taste and that makes it a subjective judgement, but nonetheless. Do I like what I am listening to? Yes. Definetely. Do I still want to be a part of it. Not really. I mean, the times were great, we had lots of fun, but all good things have to come to an end eventually. And to me playing this kind of music will lead you into a dead end road eventually. Which the boys try to avoid, by the way. There’s a lot more experimental stuff on the new record (which is called “Symmetry” and can be purchased here. Both previous records can be downloaded for free). There are, I feel, a lot more harmonies. But especially one track (“Broken Flowers”) in the ending part sounds like a rip off of “Heartwrencher”, which just doesn’t soound right. Maybe the band wanted it that way. I don’t know. It’s just not the way I would’ve written it. Maybe that’s the reason for my urge to pick up an instrument again. Just maybe.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an excellent record and Arktika are still an exciting and great band. But maybe my standards are a bit higher than other people’s standards. And thus I feel as that had I been writing this record I would have done a few things differently. Just a personal feeling that I know I wouldn’t have with other bands.
Things are different with Kill Everyone. They hail from Düsseldorf and with Kalle and Poldi two members of amodestproposal are part of it. Throw in two ex-members of Free Yourself, a German-Greek punk/hardcore legend, and you might as well call this an allstar outfit. Thing is, when I first listened to their songs … it completely blew me away. Over the years, I believe it had gotten pretty tough to surprise me when it comes to music. Especially when listening to “normal” rock music, which is played by “normal” bands using drums, bass, guitars and vocals. But every once in a while one little treasure comes along and sounds like you had been waiting for it your whole life. “Change Everything” is such a record. It blew me away. It gave me goose bumps. It made me want to jump around a thrash things. It made me want to throw over the government. It made me want to rebel. It made me want to drink a lot of beer and get the worst hangover in my life. But first and foremost, it made me want to play in a band again.
The reason might be that Kill Everyone remind me of two bands: Free Yourself and amodestproposal. I can flat out imagine how which guitar parts were written by Poldi. In my head I try to divide the songs into parts which might fit with one band or the other. Kalle’s vocals are still the same and his English pronounciation is still shaky, but who f***ing cares about that when the whole record sounds like a masterpiece. It’s the successor to amodestproposal‘s last 7″ and Free Yourself‘s final CD EP.
Do I sound like I envy those guys? I do, honestly. Every now and then. Everytime I listen to their songs. But that feeling subsides and then I am just happy I get to listen to great music. Which is pretty nice as well. And, hey, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. You’ll never know when I might pick up my instrument again.