Integrity is overrated

by Ahuizotl

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    Cover painting by Hyunsoo Kim. Layout by Jan Lankisch. Incl. lyric sheet and digital download.

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about

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Ahuizotl - Integrity is overrated

Tumbleweed Records - tw-134


"American indie fans who know just one thing about Cologne, Germany probably know it as the home of electronic music goliath Kompakt. But in the shadow of that label -- whose aesthetic persistently looks toward a minimalist, abstract and beat-driven future -- a veteran guitar band called Ahuizotl operates within the more traditional framework of indie rock. Although the foursome only just released its long-anticipated full-length debut last week, it has been lurking in the underground in one form or another for about a decade, and has shared stages with such big-font bands as Wild Flag, The Twilight Sad and Zookeeper. The band's sound reaches back yet another decade, something Ahuizotl acknowledges by joking "we're from the '90s." And indeed the act's sound is a reverent love-letter to the losercore of yore. But most importantly, its new set Integrity Is Overrated contains great songs, including a progressive epic that suggests one exciting possible future for a band whose work is firmly rooted in the past.

Opener "Ghosts Of Departed Quantities" commences with a plodding analog synth figure that perhaps winks toward Cologne's electronic overground, but the stilted lick is gradually subsumed into a clockwork arrangement of spiky guitar and bass. The interlocking parts suggest the efficiency of '90s German/Danish noise-rock heroes 18th Dye, but guitarist and fronter Barry Langer's understated yet emotive vocals -- which enter with the first verse -- are more reminiscent of those of indie hero J. Mascis, and indeed a Dinosaur Jr. influence (sans the mind-blowing guitars solos) permeates Ahuizotl's entire album. Using Dinosaur and its American underground peers as guideposts, the German act's music presents as pretty conventional guitar/bass/synth/drums stuff. But just as with Mr. Langer's relateable, everyman accounts of relationships breaking down, the magic is in the details. From the drum break of "Perfect Day," to the terrific back-to-back sequencing of the quasi title track "Movie" and "Everybody's Breaking Up So Why Don't We?," the arrangements are economical and well-balanced, the performances remarkably tight. To be sure there is a touch of Teutonic precision to the proceedings, but Integrity Is Overrated is not without its own earnest passion.

As alluded to supra and elsewhere, the set's crowning achievement is the slyly titled eight-minute song suite "I Wanna Be Ignored." Its first three minutes are textbook Ahuizotl, but from there the exploration begins: first with a tense vamp that quietly intensifies into a full-blown guitar rave-up for the next two minutes, and then the song gently and gracefully decomposes into a jazzy jam marked by seeping feedback, what sounds like vibraphone, and light guitar leads. It's an extraordinary effort from the band, and one we hope might be considered a model for similarly adventurous work in the future. Ahuizotl bookends "Ignored" with two of the best tracks from its 2012 Lice EP, "Self-Made" and "Slide," making the back-half of Integrity Is Overrated particulary rewarding, and raising the spectre that fans who purchase the set on vinyl may wear out side B before side A.

Integrity Is Overrated was released by Tumbleweed Records Oct. 24, and Ahuizotl feted the set with a record release show at Cologne's King Georg club the following night. The album is available in a limited edition of 250 vinyl 12" records and as a digital download, both of which can be purchased via Ahuizotl's Bandcamp yert right here. A video for "Ghost Of Departed Quantities" was shot in early September, so remain vigilant and your attention should be reward before too long, we expect."

(jbreitling.blogspot.de/2014/10/review-ahuizotl-integrity-is-overrated.html)

credits

released October 24, 2014

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Ahuizotl: Barry Langer, Christof Schulte, Stefan Ebbers, Felix Hedderich.

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Guido Lucas at Blubox in 2013/14.
blubox-tonstudio.de

Cover painting “Fine funny world” by Hyunsoo Kim.
hyunsoo-art.com

Band photo by Alfred Jansen.
alfredjansen.com


p & c 2014 Ahuizotl & Tumbleweed Records (tw-134)


tumbleweedrecords.de
info@tumbleweedrecords.de

ahuizotlcologne.blogspot.de
ahuizotl@gmx.de

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Track Name: Ghosts of departed quantities
Do you enjoy movement
Yeah, i bet you do
Which way round was clockwise again
Will it ever stop turning
I’d rather see pictures with something on them

I’m in no condition to operate machinery
I’m in no condition
And if i forgive you
Will you help me for free
Unconditionally

Will it ever stop turning
I’d rather see pictures with something on them
Will it ever stop turning

You closed and then opened your eyes again
And everything was still there
You weren’t the least bit surprised
You couldn’t see any further

Ghosts of departed quantities
Track Name: Movie
I’ve seen this movie before
The protagonist is an honest man with a strong vision
I can’t sympathise anymore
Thinking of all the extras who had to die for his decisions

Honesty, no more for me
Isn’t everyone sick of that
And don’t anyone worry
It’s already gone to my head

I’ve seen this movie before
I’m the director now and i’m not afraid to give directions
‘Cause i’m a selfish asshole, too
I’ll have a million of those extras dying for my vision

Think of me as many
Integrity’s overrated
And don’t anyone worry
It’s already messed up my head
Track Name: Everybody's breaking up so why don't we
Everybody’s breaking up so why don’t we
Everyone’s just giving up so why don’t we
I can see by the look in your eyes that you don't quite agree
But everybody’s breaking up so why don’t we

It’s just this time of year you know
When i feel like i really got to go
And don’t ask me for a reason
Why i can’t stay another season

Everybody’s breaking up so why don’t we
Everybody’s setting each other free so why don’t we
I almost guessed that you would not at all agree
Well, anyway, i meant it rhetorically

It's just this time of day you know
You can say it was your idea to go
And don’t ask me for a reason
Why i can’t stay with you for another season

Everybody’s breaking up so why don’t we
Everybody’s fucking shit up so why don’t we
I can see by the tears in your eyes that you don't quite agree
But everybody’s breaking up so why don’t we
Track Name: Perfect day
It’s such a perfect day
And i’m not sad to say
I’m glad i spent it alone

In the subway station
And the mall parking lot
Uninhabitable zones

Listen to the traffic
And disappears on headphones
They go well together

Yeah i wasted lots of time
When the sun did shine
Guess i’m making up for it now or whatever

Is there something more i could’ve had
If that’s all that’s wrong i guess it’s not too bad
Is there something more i should’ve done
Maybe so but right now it don’t seem so wrong
Track Name: Go away from under my cloud
You know exactly what it’s like
That don’t make it a bit more right
And the first time that you recall
Has nothing to do with this at all

I’ll go through all three phases
I bet you know which one this is

Hey you
Go away from under my cloud
It’s supposed to rain on me only
Go away from under my cloud

I’ll go through all three phases
Of course you know which one this is
Just too messed up to show that i
Appreciate your good advice

Hey you
Go away from under my cloud
It’s supposed to rain on me only
Go away from under my cloud
Track Name: Slide
How do you build a wall of sound
How do you tear a wall of silence down
Instead of hanging around
Is this still swim or is it already drown

Let’s not say anything at all
I’d fall for anyone right now
But you could come back anytime
Just so that you know

You must be out of your mind
So hung over it feels like upright
You can clean up when i leave
But don’t you touch this mess while i’m still here

Look but don't talk to me
We don't stand a chance right now
I could totally fall for you
Just so that you know
Track Name: I wanna be ignored
I know you do it all the time
But now you witness it with your own two eyes
Is it too hard to pretend
You didn’t see what just happened

When push comes to shove i wanna be ignored
When there is no love i wanna be ignored
The planets align i wanna be ignored
Things work out for you just fine

Can’t you go out of your way
And just shut up if you have nothing nice to say
Is it too much to ask
For you to look the other way and just pass

When push comes to shove i wanna be ignored
When there is no love i wanna be ignored
The planets align i wanna be ignored
Things work out for you just fine
Track Name: Self-made
You took luck in your own hands ‘cause it was no good
Make a deal with what is only chance, you really thought you could

You made yourself

You dreamt the dream then built the world and now can’t understand
That it got close, almost to touch and then turned away again
Not according to the way you planned

You made yourself

Don’t you want to be found out
Don’t you want to be caught
And make this train that’s off the rails come to a halt

You made yourself believe
Track Name: Nice
You’re so nice that i’m all eyes
But you’re all smiles so pass me by, won’t you

When you look down there’s just the ground
And no abyss there to be found at all

You’re a mess or so you say
Put to the test you’re quite okay, aren’t you

When you look down there’s just the ground
And no abyss there to be found at all
Track Name: Decadence will save us all
Decadence is going to save us all
We’ve risen and it doesn’t mean we’re bound to fall
Now we know what’s cool we know you're not
And we plead guilty of having killed your god

We made something useless
We made something nice
It makes you suspicious that you can’t understand why
We’re beyond nature now
But that's nothing wrong
We’ve come a long way and we like what we’ve become

Too much to lose, too much to move on
Too much to breathe under, too much to leave behind
Well, that’s just a myth we've got to do away with

We made something useless
We made something nice
And it makes you hate us that you can’t see a reason why
We’re not here for a purpose
We’re way more than that
We’ve tasted something good and we never can forget

Decadence is going to save us all
We’ve risen and it doesn’t mean we’re bound to fall
Give us all there is, then give us more
And when it’s gone we’ll think of something for sure