Desert Beneath the Pavement

As is the norm around this time of year, myself and others in the field are still filtering through the slew of late 2012 releases and as is often the case, unearthing late year gems that simply could not get reviewed in time for the end of 2012. And such is the case with the debut from Germany’s Desert Beneath the Pavement, Transit.  A release that came out in October but did not find its way into my mail box til Christmas time, and ultimately wormed its way onto my year end list, despite the fact I had not seen any coverage of the release on the interwebs- so here you go:

Falling under the post rock/shoegaze genre, DBTP are obviously influenced by Neurosis,  Fall of Efrafa and Swedes Cult of Luna, but there is a lot more going on as the band has a dreamy, ethereal and krautrock/Sisters of Mercy thing going (especially vocally with whispers, moans, roars and spoken words) on as well. The whole affair is swathed in this mopey, somber vibe even with some of the utterly gorgeous melodies going on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of mountainous riffs and typical post rocks ebbs and flows, but it’s never as confined or cookie cutter as most of the genres’ build up/peak/come down paradigms.

While the above referenced bands are a base line influences, the core root of the band’s sound  is slightly more delicate than some of their peers as they also have more focus on atmospheric acoustics  and experimentation similar to some 90s emo/screamo bands and bands like Day Without Dawn/Postman Syndrome/Biclops, Impure Wilhelmina and as such provide a more relaxing and sumptuous take on the sound. There’s some truly intoxicating moments on Transit that lull you into a trance like state before interrupting with a more typical riff based crescendo.

Some of the band’s tones especially the varied vocals (much of which is in German), might turn of some folks, but they aren’t used a whole lot as a lot of Transit is instrumental letting waves music flow over you. All the lengthy tracks-“For Futility”, “God Meant New York”, wonderfully melancholic standout “In the Truck Bed”,  “Do You Feel it When I Google You?” and second standout, the mesmerizing “Shambala” are meant to be taken in as one long, hypnotic journey with layers of emotions and sound colliding artfully in a Germanic could of eclecticism.

You can do the whole band camp this (in the label link) thing but I recommend the physical CD as its packaged in a gorgeous 6 panel digipack with artwork from Polish photographer Tom Wasilewski) contains a bonus track a version of the already breathtaking “Shambala” but with guest vocals from (I guess) noted German musician Max Feibel, but its hardly a huge difference in an album that’s such a engaging and varied journey.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 4th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    so far, so good.

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