120 DAYS – 120 Days (Smalltown Supersound)
When I first heard about this band I was sceptical that they could really pull off what they were attempting - A Norwegian band utilising Krautrock rhythms to underpin their indie rock tunes. If they could do it, then it would be just my sort of record….and they have. Just one listen to ‘Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone’ was enough to tell me that I would love this album, from the Neu!-like sequenced drumming and Kraftwerk synths of the intro, to the song itself, with its driving beat and Spacemen 3 vibe. Despite clocking in at nearly nine minutes, not one of them is wasted, and the song is instantly a classic of the Krautrock genre. Out now as a single, so check it out. ‘Be Mine’ has a slower pace, but still makes great use of the metronomic drumming and burbling synths, while the ambient feel of ‘C-Musik’ is more in keeping with the Kraftwerk school of Krautrock. ‘Sleepwalking’ brings in yet another influence, and surprisingly it is New Order, but then they always were an electronic band at heart. The rhythm section builds behind the echo-laden vocals to deliver another great song, before ‘Get Away’ ditches the Krautrock and plays it straight for a storming rocker. ‘Keep On Smiling’ brings back the synth/drum rhythms and adds a space-rock feel to the song, while the New Order drums make a re-appearance on ‘Lazy Eyes’. ‘Sleepless Nights #3’ is the other side of Krautrock, being three minutes of soothing synths designed to evoke a mood of peaceful relaxation, gradually blending into the eleven minute closing track ‘I’ve Lost My Vision’. For this the band pull out all the stops and produce another great Krautrock classic, re-creating the feel and spirit of those German electronic pioneers of the 70’s. It may not have sounded like it would work on paper, but 120 Days have made an astounding debut album, and one which I will continue to enjoy for many years to come.