The Notwist – 12 – Review

The Notwist

12 (Zero Hour)
by Sheril Stanford

You know that feeling you get when you’re driving along and all of a sudden you hit a patch of ice or maybe a puddle, and for a split second, you’re totally out of control? Then you get it together and everything’s fine, and the only proof you have that anything even happened is that you have absolutely no saliva in your mouth? It’s kinda cool, right? Not really scary, just startling, unpredictable. If you captured that dynamic in music it might sound like Notwist. The German band says it derives its sound from the dialectical process. What does that mean? It means the band does the “logical argumentation” on 12, and your role is just to stay with it if you can. It’s like they teach you in driver’s ed – when you hit that puddle, don’t fight it – you just gotta go with it. The unpredictable leaps, twists, and turns will take you from stark to lush, from dissonant to melodic, from dramatic roaring metal riffs to simplistic guitar wanking, from restraint to chaos. The disc is peppered with samples both organic (horns, banjo) and electronic. Marcus Acher’s vocals range from hushed to operatic. The rhythm is ever varying not just from song to song, but within cuts as well, with a virtuoso percussion performance from Mecki Messerschmidt and Mica Acher on bass. Just keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel…