Couch - Fantasy
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Couch
Fantasy

After hearing Couch, I think that a funny thing would be for them to tour with the group Fridge. While one of them is named after a kitchen appliance and the other is named after a piece of furniture, they're still similar enough in terms of household items that it would make for an interesting marquee alone. Likewise, while their sounds are somewhat similar in that the both inhabit some of the same post rock haunts, they both go in different directions and are interesting for their own particular reasons. Couch is kind of like the less-experimental cousin to Fridge, and their music is some of the tighest and cleanest I've heard in the genre. With keyboards, drums, a bass, and guitar, the foursome has put together great, electronic-infused pop-rock album on which nobody says a word.

The album starts out on solid footing with "Ich Bei Davor." With some echoed-out drumming and interplay between the bass and guitar before the keyboard comes in and drops a three note melody for awhile. After about a minute of what seems like slightly wandering playing, the four instruments pull together like someone tightening a seam and things start moving along at almost a giddy pace. If the first track was leaning more to the pop side of things, track two ("Slogan") leans more to the rock side with a fair amount of growl in the guitars and a bit more of a fever in the drums. There are several parts in the track where it drops off to nothing more than a quiet keyboard hi-hat skitter, then the track always leaps off again with enough of an edge to twist your arm into a bit of air-guitaring.

The group also takes an approach on a couple tracks that resembles Tortoise, like on the quiet and chiming "Heimweg 78" and the soft electronic plunks and guitar strummings on "Ubrig." It tends to resemble the work of the Tortoise side-project Directions In Music even more than the main group, but the more inventive percussion and less of a pop music structure sort of lend itself to both groups. The group even rocks out proudly loudly to close out the release on the song, "Gegen Den" (which is also the longest track on the disc). After opening with nearly a minute of impending drums and guitar, things drop off into nice play between the guitar and bass again before the group locks into another nice groove.

While the group has been around since 1995, this is their third full-length release and they're already planning another one for less than a year away. With nearly all the members being in other bands as well as this one and the more crowded market in terms of music that they're playing, it will be interesting to see which direction they go. Either that, or they'll stay in nearly the exact same place, which isn't too bad of a spot either. If you're looking for a more conventional post rock outfit that has a touch of an electronic sound, but mainly sticks to the more classic instruments, this is the group for you.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00