Review Summary: 20 years of German precision…
The German psychedelic/stoner rock quartet are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and the nicest way to do it is by offering us new music. I believe there was less publicity around Sechs
and it’s a bit of a shame since the record is strong (as expected). Fünf
saw them branching out, including several acoustic elements and significantly layered compositions due to adding a second guitarist in the mix. Here the guys focused again on heavier parts yet the results are more diverse than on earlier efforts. Right from the beginning, ‘Falscher Dampfer’ displays playful, funky grooves accompanied by wah-drenched guitar solos. The sunny progressions are classic Rotor, just like the gritty detours they unexpectedly take. It’s cool how they manage to sound unpredictable and so familiar at the same time. The tensed, mechanical patterns of ‘Allmacht’ are engaging, but we’re soon treated to more melodic leads. These are only the build up to the pounding drums and distorted power chords that subsequently rage. The band doesn’t stop here, landing in a subdued jam instead. After a second round of anger release, ‘Fernen Liefen’ kicks in. The instruments’ interplay is often on the verge of turning dissonant, still everything is meticulously calculated. Its main riff depicts a cocky version of what we usually hear from Colour Haze these days and thankfully, they crank the volume up during the song’s final minute.
Rotor’s smooth, laid back attitude always gave their music a certain vibe and I am sure those who listened to them have later recognized these sonic trademarks no matter how far they ventured in the genre’s sonic sphere. Entering the second half, ‘Abfahrt!’ does its best to depict the aimed atmosphere. The pile driving groove toys with semi tones and the slower segments in between are thrilling. Meanwhile, the summery intro of ‘Vor dem Herrn’ easily turns into intricate noodling, before transitioning to poignant guitar solos over really tight rhythms. Every member is carefully placed to contribute his parts to the overall sound and the outcome is impressive. Closing epic, ‘Druckverband’ owes more to the wavy structure of Fünf
as they leave the bass to play a circular line, whereas the guitars joining with several embellishments. After roughly six minutes, the group switches to gritty riffage, whose intensity grows with each minute. The chugging finale is menacing and at the same time, a perfect ending to Sechs
. While the LP borrows features from the band’s entire catalog, it moves forward too. They have accommodated themselves perfectly as a quartet and managed here to craft visceral tunes that show how organic their formulas are after 20 years. Musically, Rotor are currently at their peak, so I hope they maintain this momentum by releasing something even better in the near future.