Sound: For a band named after a painter who has been dead for almost a century, Klimt 1918 sure are fresh. These four guys, native to Rome, present eleven tracks of unashamedly atmospheric rock, the sort of music that would instantly labelled post-rock did it not directly defy the conventions that genre was based on. While this band writes four minute songs with verse-chorus structures and prominent vocal melodies, given the frequency of delay pedals and tremolo picking, it would not be preposterous for one to assume they were listening to a Mono record. Evading the agonising self-indulgence of aforementioned band and the 'alternative rock' mould simultaneously, Klimt 1918 have found themselves a nice niche to work in, between a rock and a 'Cold Dead Place'. The album is absolutely drowned in guitars adding layer after layer of twinkling melody and neck pickup worship. What is clearly this band's selling point can also at times be their downfall as well, though, as a lot of the band's melodies and chord progressions become predictable.
However, even having some idea what is coming doesn't stop this band from creating some very convincing soundscapes along with some frankly terrific rock songs. Despite the guitar-dominated sound, the other instruments certainly provide a very stable sonic backbone and a degree of dynamic variety. In fact, bassist Davide Pesola seems to be an unsung hero of sorts, as while the band's two guitarists fellate their delay pedals this guy evens out the mix and gives the songs some sort of coherency and direction. As easy as it is to pick on the guitarists for their single-track approach, it is unfair as they are really the reason this band can appeal so much to so many different people. There are uplifting head-in-the-clouds anthems such as 'The Breathtaking Days (Via Lactea)' for a post-rock crowd and more humble tunes such as 'Disco Awayness' that would be more suited to an episode of The OC.
Ah, I pick on this band too much. // 8
Lyrics: Accents can often define singers more so than their vocal range or technical ability, and I think with Klimt 1918 vocalist Marco Soellner's distinctive accent (that is not immediately associated with his Italian background) will certainly be a definitive factor in the listener's enjoyment of 'Just In Case We'll Never Meet Again'. His voice certainly suits the band; however his accent has been known to put some people off. Lyrically, this album is solid, covering emotional and personal themes but presenting them with finesse and garnering interest with ease. There is a certain mystique surrounding the lyrics that only enhances the music, yet they are still easily accessible. // 8
Overall Impression: While this band has an original sound, the album as a whole can mesh together quite easily and not every song has its own individual impact, which is a shame. For every outstanding track like 'Just An Interlude In Your Life' there is a track like 'The Graduate', that while not at all bad could easily be considered filler when compared to some of this albums highlights. Still, a formula that works shouldn't be knocked and Klimt 1918 have definitely succeeded in crafting something that is both unique and widely accessible to a varied audience. In fact, 'Just In Case We'll Never Meet Again' is certainly up among the best rock albums this year will offer, and better yet, 'The Breathtaking Days (Via Lactea)' will be one to consider when it comes to reflecting on the best songs of 2008. // 8
- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2008