dEUS
In a Bar, Under the Sea


4.5
superb

Review

by scissorlocked USER (35 Reviews)
September 10th, 2011 | 95 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Under the sea is where I'll be

Having been praised as one of Belgium's most hopeful rock acts to come, dEUS, the 6 piece (back then), beyond-alternative rock band, seemed to be heading straight for the stardom of the easy-going, cool and smart musicians of the nineties. Of course a powerful debut isn't always enough , but Worst Case Scenario was extremely well received by the public and critics alike, and this alone has been proven enough to wholly transform musicians and artists generally, to the new, postmodern artistic figures which stand without definition between the borders of public display, successful management and subtle aesthetics. Well, at the ominous years of mid 90's, dEUS had nothing to do with that sort of ghost-term - on the other hand, they were the truly easy going, cool, smart and half-drunk guys with no stain of a thing such as stardom on their faces. Now, one can imagine In a Bar, Under the Sea as the appropriate portrait of the lives of these everyday comfortable guys- lives full of adventures, drugs, affairs, desires and traces of wisdom veiled with the fog of urban folklore.

Such portrayals never scream for authenticity, but at least, In a Bar, Under the Sea masterfully creates that illusion for the faces of its creators. It's an album that vents easiness and joy, a work that hardly displays feelings of vanity or disapproval. The overall euphoria is omnipresent here, but at times hidden or camouflaged, struggling to find some way out of the dissonant horns and guitar labyrinths. Surely the album can never be compared to a prog one, just as the band members could never be compared to a bunch of progsters, having the remnants of the dinosauric, heavy pretentiousness back from their gold times. dEUS were down to earth musicians, not afraid to include whatever their influences were to their albums. So there is some Zappa, Beefheart or Waits to be found here, as there is a reflection of the wave of the new sound that was formed in that period of turmoil. The album's diversity as well as its freshness is undeniable: from the raw, energetic bombs like "Memory of a Festival" to the catchy and super-quirk pieces like "Opening Night" or "Supermarketsong", In a Bar, Under the Sea wonderfully displays its ability to feel comfortable with any instrumentation or mood. It's almost impossible not to love the smoothness of "Little Arithmetics" or the coolness of the Waitsian "Theme from Turnpike". And beyond these crazy and lovely pieces, stand moody anthems, just at the right place for emotional discharge. "Gimme the Heat" with its mournful, shy voice builds up to a bright epic, just at the center of the album, while "Disappointed in the Sun" has a similar effect with its playful piano melodies that climax to a soaring wet catharsis.

Despite of this humane character, In a Bar, Under the Sea is deeply demanding if you want to truly appreciate it. The music itself will begin to unfold after the first few listens, but there are tons of interesting noises and well-hidden melodies that lie under its stormy surface. And that's another point where the album seeks for open minded listeners, together with its smart but sometimes abstract lyrics: concrete enough as to withstand the criticism of intentional diversity, dEUS' second LP carries a aura of ever-changing disposition, making it an album of moments, not for its inconsistency but for its chameleontic nature. In a Bar, Under the Sea is suitable for partnership, almost every time and everywhere with different effects at a time: it can be a great weekend-at-the-sea buddy while it can also be a helpful, post-breakup friend. However, far from all these, In a Bar, Under the Sea is nothing more than the place it states it is: a colorful saloon with windows looking at great coral reefs, colorful fish and huge blue whales.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
deroeckj (5)
After their massive successfull debut album (at least in Belgium and Holland) they changed their mus...


Comments:Add a Comment 
scissorlocked
September 10th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah, I love the album

had time to write a review so I decided to do this

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2011


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cool review, but some sentences could be split into 2, I think.
And dEus is spelled dEUS ;)
But that last paragraph is gold!

And yeah, album is absolutely incredible

scissorlocked
September 10th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks man

and you're right about the name-gonna fix that

as for the sentences, yes there are kinda big which makes it difficult to read at times. It depends on the mood I am when writing

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2011


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know what you mean, I usually tend to also think that bigger and more complicated sentences are better because they look more professional. But then I remind myself that very few people read through those things...

Also, check out their new album! It's getting released next week!

scissorlocked
September 10th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I know, I was waiting for it

I really don't like vantage point or pocket revolution that much, but I have a strange feeling that the new one will be great

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2011


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Give those other albums another chance, they ARE really good. But you just have to accept that they moved away from their 90's sound...

And the new one is absolutely incredible, I can tell you that.
Just so you know, Tyraelxy and I will both review the album when it comes out. It probably will give you an idea what to expect from it.

scissorlocked
September 10th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah, I know, they altered their sound dramatically and the truth is that i haven't listened to those 2 as much to their older ones
I don't say they are bad, but I think that they don't contain that dEUS spark their older ones had-they are more characterless

I'll be waiting for your reviews- I know that Tyr is from Belgium and he likes the band a lot, so I won't be surprised

Tyrael
September 10th 2011


20977 Comments


FUCK YEAH SCISSOR YOU FUCKING NAILED THAT SHIT m/

fucking badass review man and yeah the new dEUS is like eating delicious ice cream but for your ears instead of your mouth... It's like alt rock version 2.0

Get that shit now!

Pos'd

scissorlocked
September 11th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks Tyr

I'll check the new one right now man!!

jefflebowski
September 17th 2011


8257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I ordered this and Ideal Crash at the same time, this came first.

IT'S SO AWESOME

Jethro42
November 26th 2011


12646 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm barely starting to get into dEUS thanks to Ty. Very original music. Great review, scissor. A very little thing to point out at 2nd para;
''...could never be compared to a buch of progsters...''

Tyrael
November 26th 2011


20977 Comments


Yay

I have finally contributed something positive to the sputnik community!

:]

Jethro42
November 26th 2011


12646 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At your service, sir. =]

scissorlocked
November 26th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Here's the starting point for the dEUS discog!

thanks for the correction Jeth!

jefflebowski
November 26th 2011


8257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Arguably Ideal Crash is more accessible, and it has Sister Dew, but this is the best balance of their
experimental and tuneful sides IMO

scissorlocked
November 26th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

^agree

Ideal crash's best thing is production imo

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2011


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Although if you want a more rocky dEUS, then Worst Case Scenario is the way to go ;)

jeff, Magdalena > Sister Dew, but not by much

Jethro42
November 27th 2011


12646 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album kicks major ass. A big 4.5/5 to start, and damn close to get a classic status.

Tyrael
November 27th 2011


20977 Comments


What did I tell you, my friend ;]

jefflebowski
November 27th 2011


8257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the first three albums make we want to 5 them more every time I re-listen



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