A horrible hack

Yage

Anders Leben!?

Year Released: 2003
Format: LP
Label: Ebullition
 
Reviewed by Graeme Cunningham on Jun 13, 2007
Question. Is “Yage” pronounced y-aga or Y-age. I’ve heard both in usage. I sincerely hope it’s the latter. The first sits uncomfortably close to Aga, bringing to mind middle-class families in Barbour Jackets with impracticably large ovens.

Anders Leben!?, or “living differently” in English is what I suppose in Prog Circles might be classed as a Concept album. However that is simply unacceptable terminology in hardcore circles. So we’ll refer to it as a themed record. The eight tracks deal with finding compromise and balance in your own life, despite the constrictions placed on us by society. They do this articulately in English and German. The lyrics are also backed up with various essays in a nicely designed booklet, which adds to the overall effect.

So musically what’s it about? Well taking the 7” on Level plane as my only previous experience of these Deutchlanders, it’s a definite progression. Opener “We lost beauty” sets out the stall, less harsh than I expected. Rolling along on a slow, of beat rhythm. The vocals lean more towards the sung end of the spectrum than a throaty rasp and seem styled just right for the music. For the most part they steer clear of the perhaps easier route of chaos. Favouring to build tension in intricate instrumental passages, but always kicking in renewed before the attention starts to wander. “Leben Leben” sticks out as perhaps the most “rocking” song on here. When the long build up in the middle of the song kicks into the finale my speakers practically kick a whole in the wall. Superb. Closer “Save the fear slave” succeeds in a similar way. The extended finale of which is as good an incentive to turn the record over and start it again as any.

Ballpark comparisons could be made perhaps to Forstella Ford in overall approach, but Yage come off as much more sincere and interesting to me personally. Although it’s a word I use with caution, from fear of straying into Q music Journo hell, “Mature” would definitely be a suitable adjective. It’s a cohesive whole, which I find isn’t always the case with a lot of hardcore full lengths. It obviously isn’t just posturing, the band have put heart and soul into every aspect of this release.

Of course you do realise this record is on Ebullition. Enough said really.

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