Rossburger Report – 2 (1997)

Rossburger_2I suspect only Germans could come up with something exactly like this, but actually they’re not the only band to develop a similar concept, that of a guitar symphony, a whole ton of guitars (up to 15 in this case) playing in droning unison. After all Glenn Branca has been doing this for a while, Tone – The Guitar Ensemble tries some of the same tricks, and even Scenic employs similar sounds and tones, but Rossburger Report has quite a grand and unique thing going here.

4AD trivia fanatics will know that this band features Manuela Rickers from Xmal Deutschland (on drums) and that Ivo almost signed them based on a live performance which apparently doesn’t translate too well to the recorded medium. To me, however, it sounds marvelous! Sinister energy, almost punkish attitudes, a balance between rough and finely tuned and composed textures, and inescapable drones that buzz around your head and hum through your body… “Blue Moon” opens with a stunning roar of stringed beasts then comes charging at you at ever increasing speed. Is your heart pounding yet? Then you’re ready for the stand-out “Der Greuel” (chosen for the Slow Death In The Metronome Factory compilation).

What at first listen sounds extraordinarily brash and monotonous is found to contain subtlety and complexity. A symphonic effect is often achieved, most notably on “Spartacus 2000,” one of their lighter moments. They can also be remarkably delicate as witnessed in “Sonate no.1” which I daresay contains some of the wistfulness of Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition. The weight that all of these songs seem to possess is immense, as if an army of guitars has been sent out to ravage the countryside. I’ll gladly let my ears stand in their path of sonic construction.

Rossburger Report’s 2 receives 5 out of 5 stars

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