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10/12/2016 : HONEYMOON COWBOYS - Still

HONEYMOON COWBOYS

Still

MusicCD
Cold WaveNew wavePost Punk

[87/100]   

Starman Records
10/12/2016, Benny CALUWE

EN

Honeymoon Cowboys is the new band of Antonio Palermo (guitar) and Klaas Hoogerwaard (drums). Both men used to be members of the legendary Belgian cold wave act Siglo XX, known for the cult classics Individuality, Dreams Of Pleasure and The Art Of War. The band is complemented by Kris Dries (younger brother of former Siglo XX vocalist Erik Dries), Thomas François and Spiral Of Silence vocalist Tom Van Troyen.

Honeymoon Cowboys was one of the highlights on Eurorock. They played a nice set that consisted of own compositions and Siglo XX covers. At the end of 2015, the bandself-released the limited CDR Liberating The West (Live @ Eurorock 2015).Part of those live recordings return on the new album Still.

Even for people who already own Liberating The West, Still is worthwhile: 5 studio tracks (of which one reworked Siglo XX song), while tracks 6 -12 were recorded live at Eurorock. Compared to Liberating The West, the own compositions Power and Prison and the Siglo XX covers Sister In The Rain and The Art Of War are removed. Up On The Hill and Closed Souls are 2 new live tracks.

Still starts with Time Is Not Our Friend, an ominous post punk track with delicious backing vocals (as if The Bad Seeds are singing along). The title song Still (A Song For V.) is less to my taste. Not so dark, less haunting. It’s a rather regular rock song, simply decent. But no worries, there are numerous gems waiting to be discovered.

The sinister Sea Without Mercy and the reworked Siglo XX song Everything Is On Fire with its lovely organ, also remind me of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Broken Man is an excellent track with striking arrangements. Dynamic and dramatic.

The live part of the record starts with When The Sky Paints Blue and Up On The Hill. Both are songs in which Antonio Palermo’s guitar play sounds vicious and the piano adds a melodic touch. During Closed Souls, Tom Van Troyen impresses with an intense vocal performance. Broken Man also works well live. The propulsive rhythm section is more prominent. Then 3 Siglo XX covers follow A biting bass and an abrasive guitar dominate The Pain Game. Tom Van Troyen sounds accusing in No One Is Innocent. With Waiting For A Friend the album ends in style.

For post punk of the highest level, you have to be in Limburg nowadays. There is no room for discussion on that issue according to Honeymoon Cowboys and fellow band Whispering Sons.

Benny CALUWE
10/12/2016


NL

Honeymoon Cowboys is de band rond Antonio Palermo (gitaar) en Klaas Hoogerwaard (drums). Beide heren zijn ex-leden van de legendarische Belgische coldwaveband Siglo XX, bekend van cultclassics als Individuality, Dreams Of Pleasure en The Art Of War, aangevuld met Kris Dries (jongere broer van de voormalige Siglo XX-zanger Erik Dries), Thomas François en Spiral Of Silence-vocalist Tom van Troyen.

Honeymoon Cowboys was één van de hoogtepunten in Neerpelt. Op Eurorock 2015 brachten de Limburgers een geapprecieerde set die deels bestond uit eigen composities en deels uit Siglo XX-covers. Eind 2015 bracht de band in eigen beheer de sterk gelimiteerde CDR Liberating The West (Live @ Eurorock 2015) uit. Op deze Still put Honeymoon Cowboys ook uit die live-opnames.

Zelfs voor wie Liberating The West al in zijn bezit heeft blijft deze Still echter de moeite. Je vind er 5 studiotracks (waarvan een herwerkte Siglo XX-song) op terug en track 6 –12 zijn opgenomen op Eurorock. Ten opzichte van Liberating The West verdwenen de eigen songs Power en Prison, alsook de Siglo XX-covers Sister In The Rain en The Art Of War. Met Up On The Hill en Closed Souls horen we 2 nieuwe livetracks.

Still vangt aan met Time Is Not Our Friend, een dreigende post-punktrack met heerlijke backingvocals (precies of The Bad Seeds meespelen). De titelsong Still ( A Song For V.) spreekt me minder aan. Minder donker, minder dreigend, een eerder reguliere rocksong. Degelijk zonder meer. Maar niet getreurd, er liggen nog tal van zwarte pareltjes in het verschiet.

Ook het sinistere Sea Without Mercy and de herwerkte Siglo XX-song Everything Is On Fire met het heerlijke orgel,refereert aan Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Broken Man is een schitterende track met treffende arrangementen. Dynamisch en dramatisch.

Het livegedeelte vangt aan met When The Sky Paints Blue en Up On The Hill, allebei songs waarin Antonio Palermo’s gitaarspel als vanouds venijnig klinkt en de piano voor een melodische toets zorgt. Tijdens Closed Souls imponeert Tom Van Troyen met een intense performance. Broken Man staat ook live als een huis. De heerlijk stuwende ritmesectie treedt meer op de voorgrond. Vervolgenszijn er nog 3 ijskoude Siglo XX-covers. Een bijtende bas en een snijdende gitaar domineren The Pain Game. Tom Van Troyen klinkt beschuldigend in No One Is Innocent. Met Waiting For A Friend eindigt dit album in stijl.

Voor post-punk van hoog niveau dienen we anno 2016 in Limburg te zijn. Dat maakt deze Honeymoon Cowboys en zijn jonge gouwgenoot Whispering Sons ons duidelijk.

Benny CALUWE
10/12/2016


 

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