The Notwist
Neon Golden


5.0
classic

Review

by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
April 27th, 2006 | 38 replies | 11,929 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

A first impression is probably the most important thing as far as a band goes. If you see a band live and they suck, most likely your not going to go out and buy the bands record. But not all first impressions are bad. For example; on the first track of the first song of German indie band The Notwist’s landmark record, Neon Golden you might notice the melodies. Big deal, every album has melodies. Anyone with fingers can pick a simple melody onto their guitar or piano. Any one with a voice box can hum a note. But not like some people can. Not like The Notwist can. Rumbling bass, mellow-dramatic vocals and abstract guitar riffs are sewn together like they were today’s item at an Asian sweat shop. Paired with bold effects and fast paced danceable beats like they were never meant to be spilt up. The Notwist’s music is resemblant of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s crunchy, soft and sweet and if you had the ingredients plain it just wouldn’t be the same. Taking noticeable influences from band’s like Radiohead and Grandaddy isn’t a bad thing either. And to think they used to be a metal band…

Most people know that first impressions aren’t always right. This was only the first note after all. Who knows, maybe the rest of the album will turn out bad. Wrong.

The album’s 6th track, Solitaire begins with a strangely familiar orchestration, but something’s different, the soul of the song is absent. When the ghostly strings are paired with a spastic beat that comes in a few seconds later you know something’s special about this track. Back in olden times if a track didn’t have soul it didn’t get any appreciation, but bands like electro pioneers Kraftwerk and alt rock gods Radiohead built careers on breaking this thought. Well, The Notwist smashes it. They smash it into a million pieces. Tracks like album opener One Step Inside Doesn’t You’ll Understand build upon the unmelodic vocals of lead singer, Markus Acher over top layers of ambience and textured strings. The track keeps it’s depth with out losing the minimalism that makes it so striking. If you listen closely it’s almost like being in a different world. Every time I put in the record I find a new sound on it (specifically on One Step) that astounds me. Bongos, Mandolins and Delay effects get heavy use on certain tracks.

Heavier tracks like ‘One With the Freaks’ show off the Notwist’s impeccable guitar and bass tone, while ditching many of the effects that made their first songs so special. It’s hardly anything to complain about as the song is still one of the most enjoyable to listen to, but tracks like ‘Consequence’ are where it’s really at. For a song with so much pop appeal, ‘Consequence’ manages to keep a very electro/indie feel. Melodies that would make any pop punk band jealous, lyrics that would make the coolest bohemian cry and a sense of creative genius that rivals Thom Yorke on his greatest day.
Quote:
You're the colour;
you're the movement and the spin. (Never)
Could it stay with me the whole day long?
Fail with consequence, lose with eloquence
and smile.
I'm not in this movie
I'm not in this song.
Never
Leave me paralyzed, love.
Leave me hypnotized, love.
The song is five minutes of pure pleasure. The kind that you can’t get from money, friends or religion. The kind you get from a thorough look inside yourself. One of my personal picks for ballad of the millennium.

For most people, an album that ends with three vaguely similar electronic instrumentals will not garner enough emotion to give a five. But for some reason I can’t picture giving this album any less. Pop music through the eyes of a couple of creative geniuses is probably the best way to describe the album, though it dabbles into a little bit of everything. Sounds ranging from Irish and Indian folk to heavy electronica and punk. Hearing records filled with raw emotion as well as raw music is a thing to witness, but when the album is as raw as the asphalt but as smooth as marble, like this one, it will really stick with you. It follows Radiohead’s formula as much as Beethoven’s. Conjuring images of fields of grassy green fields as well as cold lifeless places, the kind that make you long for the sun. It follows Radiohead’s unspoken promise “Sometimes the songs with the least emotion are the most heartbreaking". You can listen to your faux-emo love songs, but I choose The Notwist.

Pros
Powerful
Calm
Original
Great guitar and bass tones
Flawless vocals/lyrics

Cons
Ending
A little bit repetitive
Not much else

4.8/5

-Joe



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0

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
April 27th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wouldn't give this album a 5/5, I'm leaning more towards a 4 out of 5. The first half of the album is excellent, but from Consequence until the end of the album there is nothing special. The strange thing about all of this is that I enjoy the heavier tracks on the album which rarely happens.

Great job on the review. The only problem I have with it is that I don't think that the lyrics are that special. This Message Edited On 04.27.06

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2006



16083 Comments


Ewww, quote box in a review.
This was a good review, but or some reason, I feel like its missing something. It may be because I *heart* this album, but its nagging me.
And I never got the whole Pro's And Con's thing. If someone reads the review, wont they realize the pro's and con's? I suppose I'm guilty of it, reccomended tracks are essentially the same deal...

DFelon204409
Emeritus
April 28th 2006



3995 Comments


Since nobody has mentioned it yet I'll recommend 13&God if you like this band. Contains some members.

AbysmalFace
April 28th 2006



35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't believe this hasn't been reviewed before?...
The 3 bonus tracks stuck on the end really bring it down though.
Good job.This Message Edited On 04.28.06

The Jungler
April 29th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for all the positive comments/votes guys
I'll check out 13&God when I get a chance too, do they sound anything like these guys?

bleep_bloop
December 16th 2006



37 Comments


i think 13 & god is the guys from the notwist doing a collab with the guy from themselves, so yeah, its pretty much the notwist's instrumentals with someone rapping over them.This Message Edited On 12.16.06

The Jungler
December 16th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I've heard that CD a few times now, it's good, but not this good.

niobium
April 16th 2007



238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Every track after Consequence (the 3 of them) are US bonus tracks, because it was released a year later there.
This is some really good stuff. Reminds me a lot of Minotaur Shock, except more chill.

Apocalyptic Raids
May 7th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fantastic album

squirehorse
September 8th 2008



5 Comments


class album, but other songs that are special like pilot and pick up the phone didnt get adressed in this review

bobthebug
December 2nd 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

one of my all time favorites! good review on it. you partially manage to describe what cannot be described.

I own the original european release without the 3 bonus tracks - seems that is a good thing.

More Acher brothers projects:
Tied & Tickled Trio, Lali Puna, Ms John Soda and before mentioned 13&God, all worth checking out.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2009



15730 Comments


goddamn this guy sounds just like the guy from belle and sebastian

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2010



15012 Comments


trashing days this room and consequence are all my fuckin jam

Ponton
Emeritus
February 1st 2010



5790 Comments


This is awesome. I think this is Waior/Knott- music too, personally.

Shadow17
March 12th 2010



67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome review and yes, this album rocks my socks! Amazing band too, by the way.

Yotimi
June 19th 2010



6463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Trashing Days and Consequence are so good. I should probably bump my rating

Digging: Millie and Andrea - Drop The Vowels

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2010



15012 Comments


those two are my favorites

PuddlesPuddles
June 19th 2010



4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love Pilot

Thought about upping this to a 4.5
I will if 4 people tell me to

Ponton
Emeritus
June 22nd 2010



5790 Comments


This grew on me a bit, you should up your rating bro

Knott-
Emeritus
May 20th 2011



10195 Comments


wow this is fucking awesome



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