Review Summary: WGWATC.creates and destroys equally,an utterly miserable hammer blow to the fourth wall of pop culture, references strewn in as metaphors, creating a tapestry of dissonance building a world from the wreckage of everyone else's but completely and utterly t
Whether you like it or not, There's this undoubted machinery to culture. For things, and in this case art (because essentially that *is* what music is) to achieve 'acclaim' and 'success', which are adorned by quotes due to their subjectivity, art, which at it's core is communication, needs to be deciphered before it can be 'read' and received and only then if you're lucky, will it be possibly be understood. The idea that the quality of the work is intrinsically linked to it success, is at best naive and at worst, wilfully ignorant.
If this principle was indeed factual, Royal Blood's meat and potatoes Rock would be in obscurity and Nosferatu D2 would be the subject of a BBC4 retrospective, complete with Peter Capaldi Voice over, rare live footage, and black and white visuals of Gareth from Los Campesinos! looking moody discussing why Ben Parker is one of the greatest rock lyricists of the 21st century. I know, what you are thinking, you educated music fan, this looks like vaguely nuanced hyperbole, probably rendered from some PR company who are paid to get people over excited to the point that they fear they are 'missing out' if they don't like the new and thoroughly average record from the latest 4 white males in leather jackets, leaping headfirst into the indie landfill, via student discos. Usually, you'd be right but nothing about Nosferatu D2 is usual.
During their life span as a band, Nosferatu D2 were more than a slightly anonymous anomaly, spoken of in hushed tones by those lucky enough to catch one of their live shows at some back-room pub venue or another. In fitting style for a band who did nothing conventionally, their biggest brush with the mainstream during their initial life span would come in the form of their last ever show at The Spitz in London, supporting the afore mentioned Los Campesinos! and then label mates Sky Larkin. Whilst it was their last dalliance with a stage as this band, the two piece, consisting of Croydon brothers, Ben and Adam Parker, made such an impression on Los Campesinos! that they are thanked in the liner notes of their first record. Nosferatu D2 split, no record, no real fanfare, looking like they'd be completely lost to history.
That would have been the case, had it not been for Jamie Halliday and Audio Antihero. Starting an entire record label, just to release a record by a band who had no interest in playing together again, so no real conventional method of promotion, is probably why Halliday coined the tag line "specialists in commercial suicide" for the venture, but with nothing but sheer enthusiasm, a pile of CDs and "the kindness of strangers" Audio Antihero released the only record Nosferatu D2 album, "We're gonna walk around this city with our headphones in to block out the noise" in 2009 (reissued on cassette recently), two years after the band split.
Sales were moderate but the praise was lavish. Drowned in Sound,NME,DIY, The 405 and The Line of Best Fit all queued up to heap post humous praise on, arguably one of the finest British indie rock bands, probably ever.
WGWATC creates and destroys equally,an utterly miserable hammer blow to the fourth wall of pop culture, references strewn in as metaphors, creating a tapestry of dissonance building a world from the wreckage of everyone else's but completely and utterly their own. Yes a line can probably be drawn sonically and spiritually to bands like Arab Strap, The Fall and Modest Mouth, but while it's possible to contextualise Nosferatu D2, it's impossible to pigeonhole them, having created something so unique, so utterly themselves that it sears at the sinews of your brain on each listen, no matter how many times you play it, perfectly described on the Audio Antiohero bandcamp as "A little too wise for the rock hordes, a little too cynical for the pop world and not nearly smug enough for the art scene".
The hallmark of the record is it's juxtapositions. Ben Parker spits and spews lyrics, in a spoken word style, complete with utter cynical hopelessness and misery yet doing so in such an honest, open and raw manner than it almost becomes inverted into a sense of hope, that we've now hit the bottom and the only way is up. Parker talks of Croydon's fast food,cheap booze emptiness in Springsteen, with Parkers retort "You can burn down my hometown" proving truly prophetic in the wake of the riots in 2011. 'Broken Tamagotchi' see's the fear of ageing of a generation surmised into one line,"an old man hand is creeping into skin I used to own". The afore mentioned cultural references are abound on all tracks. Has any other band managed to reference Public Enemy, Carry on films, Radiohead, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Bruce Springsteen, Turin Breaks, Mojo Magazine, Shaking Stevens and Phil Collins in one record and it just make coherent sense to their own identity".
There'll never be another band like Nosferatu D2 but the fact that they managed to exist will give hope to more and more bands who stumble across this record that being utterly yourself is a talent that can see you make incredible art whether you're playing to 10 people in Croydon or thousands people at an arena somewhere and on the off chance that one of those bands does, maybe in a few years, Nosferatu D2 Will get that BBC4 Documentary, one of the best records and bands ever thoroughly deserves.