13-11-12

I fucking love this band.

They are the best band ever.
PERIOD.

No, silly, I'm not talking about the Ramones. I'm talking about the Dutch Rudders.
"Dutch rudders?" you say, "isn't that a sex thing?"
"Yes" I say, "that's a sex thing. But they're also a band. A punk rock band from Zele. They are the best band ever. Period."

So that's what I say. Now here's what I have to say about their new EP, called Black Holes. They released it this weekend, but I had to work all weekend because I'm an idiot so I missed is. The line-up was super cool but I missed it. Bummer, right? I fucking missed it.
But at least they put the songs online so I can listen to them and review them cause I'm a professional music review dude.

THE DUTCH RUDDERS - BLACK HOLES (2012)
http://thedutchrudders.bandcamp.com/

1. Caroline
2. COVALENTBOND
3. Falling Apart
4. Going Down
5. Sick
6. LJD






The last thing the Dutch Rudders put out was an EP called Shame Is For The Weak. That was great. It had pop punk music on it and they were a three-piece back then.
But now everything has changed. Actually, only some things have changed. They have gained a guitarist/singer called Jelle, and his influence on Black Holes is noticeable. First of all, the harmonies are plenty! With three vocalists now, the choruses are stronger, the verses are more diverse and the entire thing is vocally more interesting, also due to the different styles the singer can take on. It's a thin line between throaty and raspy, and in between there's gruffy and hoarse and other adjectives that mean the voice is kinda husky (oh snap). And then there's yelling as well. The potential that The Dutch Rudders had already has been strengthened by adding a second guitar which makes the whole sound more melodically driven and pretty much just better. More coherent, perhaps? Better at their instruments, definitely. I mean, no question. Seriously.
So let's get down to the sounds. After the sample of someone saying "I fucking love this band etc." the Rudders start rowing their paddles. I mean playing their instruments. The first song is called Caroline. That's a girl's name. They sing about drinking. I think most songs they write are about drinking. And love and stuff. I think I've heard this song live before. And it stuck with me, so that's a good score on the catchy-o-meter. The Dutch Rudders don't cease to impress me with fun songs aboutsad subjects. I mean, the guitar melody during the chorus couldn't contrast more with the lyrical content. I'm not okay, I'm not okay. Yeah, man, totally! I, too, am not okay. Sometimes. Perfectly danceable and singalongable. Great start to the EP.
Comparing this to the demo, I think they've gone for a deeper, slightly darker and more edgy sound. I'm thinking Dopamines, Chinese Telephones maybe, Red City Radio. I don't know, man, it's all just punk rock in the end, and the Rudders have managed to do something really good with this punk rock.
COVALENTBOND is playing in the meantime, and I hear more escapist punkrock poetry about everyday life. Great song, no real standout but it's a fast one! Also, an all caps song title, who do they think they are? Dillinger Four? Please...

Falling Apart is kinda the hit song I think. It's been in and out of my head ever since I first heard it live and it's just ridiculously cool. The intro immediately grabs you by the throat and throws you around to start dancing, moshing, stagediving and then the verse start and he sings "Getting drunk is so cliché but it's the only thing that works for me" and I feel like that's the truest thing anyone has sung in 2012. Innit? Yea. But, wait! There's more. The chorus fucking blasts at you and you can't help to sing along to it. Like, physically. Your vocal cords automatically start singing the song. Same thing with the ending. You can't help it. So, pro-tip: don't listen to this on a busy train or something cause you might make a fool out of yourself singing along to tunes no one in the real world has heard of. The riffs and drum parts in Falling Apart are pretty awesome. I can't really describe it - wait, isn't that my job as a reviewer? - but it's just a really good song. Trust me, I'm not an engineer.
Going Down, eh? This song seemingly provided the EP with it's title, Black Holes. Seemingly, Black Holes refers to blackouts from being drunk. Seemingly, the guys in the Dutch Rudders like to drink alcohol. Well, I can't blame 'em. They have problems, so they need to cure 'em. I, too, drink alcohol. See? I have a lot in common with this EP! I bet we'd get along fine! I like the fact that they sing about going out/going down cause it's supposed to be like really fun but they make it seem like it can never go right and always ends up in disaster... which is also true I guess. Anyway, I love the little solo/melody licks in the second verse (is that a verse?). Yet again, Jelle's voice is a magnificent fit for this and it actually all sounds pretty convincing.
Track 5 is called Sick. That's a pretty generic title, so it could be anything. But apparently, they're sick of "the pain" and "the hurt". Man, I feel like I'm listening to a drunk emo record. The song kicks ass though, another really fast one, the drums come through really good and the bass part makes for a great transition into the finale. The ending is pretty phenomenally composed for a punk rock song. Well done!
The EP ends with LJD, which allegedly stands for Life Just Disappoints. Geez, these guys don't seem to catch a break, do they? I'd hurry up and buy their album already, just to make them feel a bit better! This tune is probably my second favourite on the EP. The drum track is yet again very steady yet edgy. (Oh shit, I've used the word edgy twice.) LJD finishes the EP in a grand way and the way the solo builds itself to finally conclude in a guitar-esque bass riff with the words "I'm just waiting for another day to die. Life just disappoints again." going on and on is fantastic.

Oh man, I just realized I've been really positive about this.
WELL OF COURSE THIS SHIT IS AWESOME.
Seriously, guys, the Dutch Rudders haven proven they are part of this "punk rock" music everyone is talking about and they did a freaking good job with Black Holes. Please buy this from them, or listen on bandcamp and give them money or blowjobs if you're a girl or buy a shirt or I don't know just support them they deserve it I guess.

Oh, and there's a bonus track called Breezerslut, which starts with an Austin powers sample and is basically just Ward screaming over this wild-ass tune for a short minute. It's the best song that's not on the album.

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