Herzog
Search


4.0
excellent

Review

by SloppyMilkshake USER (24 Reviews)
February 5th, 2011 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Through pneumatic miasma soundscapes, Herzog has crafted a debut album that is simple enough for anyone to enjoy, yet aurally entrancing and hypnotic.

It seems as if more and more frequently I am unearthing underground indie acts fronted solely by bedroom bound cadres, foisted as full rock bands, carrying with them a sort of nostalgic antiquity tinged with half-handed austerity and worn slacker idioms. It comes as a surprise then that Herzog (artistic vehicle for Nick Tolar) sounds like a long lost indie act as genuine as those before him. Feigned ennui and mastery over several indie rock aesthetics has placed Tolar obliquely as the duke of both nostalgic interpreters and haggard veteran. His influences form a Venn diagram balance, the center of which creates a nonchalant epicness (ala’ Pavement), sound-tracking summer time longing and late night wondering. Speaking of Pavement, the music sprawls as such with minor infractions and cracks upon its sidewalk surface. Despite this, the album still drives forward in a steady path; a path mapping out slacker suburbia with stagnant charm and starry eyed loftiness.

Album opener “Silence”, with its fuzzed-glam wanton stomp, creates a crenelated wall of noise which is quickly deconstructed over the course of the album. Nebulous and introspective, “West Blvd” gently lulls as Tolar assures us, “I will never be more than a dirty punk rocker”. The song transforms seamlessly from sparse guitar plucking into rolling drum work and heartfelt chord changes, and It’s in this ability to evolve songs seamlessly and effortlessly that exhibits Tolar’s skills the most. Songs such as “Static Shock” (which goes from tropical guitar simmering into Arcade Fire-esc full-forced charge) and “Living Alone” (which near the end of the song eschews bouncy pitch bending for folksy twang) transforms the album into an emotive indie waltz, one irresistibly clever and passionate in its movements.

Half-way through the album though, the oscillating guitar noise and torrential choruses are abruptly traded in for laconic reverie, as if all of a suddenly Tolar has aged from ambitious teen to bested old man. The Fleet Foxes-esc “Abandon Love” and “Steady Hands” manage to sound almost like a completely different album, yet surprisingly, engages the listener just as much as the first half of the album. It’s the album’s final ice drift moments, the druggy and jazzy “Cautiously Optimistic” and “Slowest Romance”, where Tolar manages to wear his heart on his sleeve to much avail. The former goes from lumbering and swaggering balladeering to Crazy Horse-esc fragmented soloing (easily the album’s most beautiful moment), while the latter wanders cavernously in coda-like subtlety.

Where the album’s greatest strength lies in it’s smooth transitions over different genres and tones, it’s surprising that the lyrics can’t claim the same strength. The themes typically range from slacker celebratory (“I dreamed I would be a star, the reality is I play in bars”), uncompassionate grumbling (“I grew up on the streets of West Boulevard, where life isn’t really all that hard”), and cringe worthy mythologizing (“The sound of hipsters growing old/We cuddle before we ***”). To say the least, the same amount of heartfelt color and variety added to the music isn’t shared by the lyrics. It’s really a shame, because this is the kind of album that could become an instant classic if only it allowed the listeners to connect more personally. But I digress, the sounds of summer time dreams running rampant through this album are enough to thaw my seasonally frozen heart. From dawn to dusk and twilight to starlight, “Search” is the kind of album that comes full circle, finally resting in autumnal placidity. Through pneumatic miasma soundscapes, Herzog has crafted a debut album that is simple enough for anyone to enjoy, yet aurally entrancing and hypnotic. Layers of strong melodies, a variety of styles, and competent technical skills presents Tolar as a potential indie star.



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user ratings (5)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011


7504 Comments


Fantastic review. Have a pos. It's definitely well-deserved.

SloppyMilkshake
February 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://herzogsounds.bandcamp.com/



There's the stream of the entire album.



edit: and thanks for the pos! First review in over a week. Stupid stomach ulcer >_>

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011


7504 Comments


It's a really good write-up, Sloppy. The piece flows comfortably, and sounds intelligent without coming off as dialectically verbose (which I find ridiculously hard to do).

If this is what stomach ulcers do to you then I gotta get me one too. (knock on wood LOL)

SloppyMilkshake
February 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, thank you for all of the positive remarks.



And it was sort of a mix of feeling to sick to focus on writing, and lacking anything interesting to write about. I doubt the ulcer has anything to do with it, but who knows? I suggest you stark drinking Tilex asap to test this theory out :P

americanmusicmachine
February 5th 2011


3953 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvWh6PMi9Ek

SloppyMilkshake
February 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ fuck'n lol'd

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011


7504 Comments


^ I'm jealous!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2011


7504 Comments


LOVE LOVE LOVE!! BFF!!

We're so going to nail down the "Sputnik Best Bromance" Award this time. By God, this is OUR YEAR!!

SloppyMilkshake
February 6th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm a fan of your bromance. YOU HAVE MY VOTE!

SloppyMilkshake
February 6th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Xenophanes/Irving 2011: Bromance we can believe in

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2011


7504 Comments


Lady Gaga is writing a song about us. It's called "Rad Bromance."

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2011


7504 Comments


RAH-RAH-AH-AH-AH-AH!!

ROMA-ROMA-MAMAAAAA!!

GA-GA-OOOH LA LA!!!



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