[sic] Magazine

Das Wanderlust – Bones Hooves & Horns

Das Wanderlust are perhaps too quirky to become a mainstream attraction but they keep on going, honing their sound to new heights of musical skill and vocal dexterity. They are almost Prog in places – Prog like the Cardiacs , that is. Jerky, heavy, full of faded glamour, a particularly twisted Cabaret. Singer/keyboardist Laura has always had a strong voice but she seems to be practically operatic here on stuff like ‘Swan’. Andy has, meanwhile, become a powerful guitarist. After a synthesized music box one minute and fifty seconds that wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by The Residents he brings slabs of Sabbs guitar to instrumental ‘Midwinter Carol For Yamaha Ice Block’. And he has a rather pleasing voice on ‘Hole In The Ground’ which could warrant more exposure, though the track is a weaker one.

Without it being pompous this seems a much more serious Das Wanderlust, despite the absurdity of some lyrics they have more gravity. It still maintains the playfulness that makes them a joy – ‘Sweet Pea Curtains’ manages to enchant with it’s garden of delights (while sounding like a euphemism). Tracks don’t last any longer than required to make their point, a habit many bands could do well to imitate. ‘You Only Live Once’ is perhaps the best embodiment of the album – at first a crunchy instrumental with Laura wailing wordlessly it slips into a gentle reverie before going more Alt. Rock guitar-scape. The crunchy bit sounds like ‘Catch A Falling Star’. Final track ‘Ray Of Sunshine’ is a wind-up. Well, at first it is literally – the sound of a wind-up music box brings us to Laura and Andy waltzing us through a very Brechtian denouement. It then takes 2 and a half minutes to wind down (literally) – which is a wind-up!

This is an album where the vision of the artists is given full reign and has produced a coherent, full bodied piece of Art Rock that brings to mind early Sparks – and I can’t give a much greater compliment than that.

Download only album (Choose what to pay but £5 gets you their previous album on CD and a plastic bone from the cover image of Bones…)

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