Several years ago now, the instrumental German group Couch released a couple nice little albums called Fantasy and Profane. They came out in the years 1999 and 2001 respectively, and at the time they came out, the musical landscape was quite different than it currently is.
The above statement probably seems like a really obvious one, but it's especially true for the music that Couch makes. While they stick to more straightforward structures than a lot of groups creating music in a similar genre, they still fit fairly well into the post rock genre with their vocal-less, electronics-tinged rock tracks. Even though it's been almost five years since they've put out any new music, Figur 5 picks up right where they left off, almost literally as opening track "Gegen Alles Bereit" opens with majestic melodies that sound like the song started mid-chorus. For the rest of the song, the group works a back and forth motion variation on that same major theme, and somehow wring four minutes out of it all.
After a fairly run of the mill second track, the group again shows off the pop sensibility with ďAlles Sagt Ja,Ē a three and a half minute track that mixes subtle synths with some rocking guitars and a solid rhythm section. Like the best of their tracks, itís always in motion and has several distinct sections that it propels through with a disarming ease.
Unfortunately, a large part of the rest of the album doesnít really hold up to the same standards. ďManchmal Immer WiderĒ grinds along for well over five minutes with an unending cascade of crashing cymbals and an undulating crescendo that never really pays off, while ďBlinde ZeichenĒ just sort of trudges along with some puttering programmed beats and guitars and synths that sound nice enough but donít go much of anywhere melodically or dynamically. Listening to their previous releases in comparison, it seems that moreso itís time thatís caught up with Couch than anything else. Five years ago, they were in a much less crowded field in terms of the music they were creating, but since then a lot has happened. Figur 5 sounds like a group thatís good at what they do, but one that hasnít really expanded their boundaries a whole lot.