Couch Figure 5

Couch is both a very ambitious project, and quite a short-sited one. On Figure 5, the German instrumental rockers cover lots of ground. Front to back, opener "Gegen Alles Bereit” sounds like it could be a track off My Bloody Valentine’s classic Loveless from the bridge in; "Zwei Streifen Im Blau” has a electronically generated trip-hop beat that incorporates handclaps and subtle, prog-ish horns over the more typical yet, in this instance more captivating, wash of guitar feedback. In theory the band are playing with some very disparate elements when it comes to genre and aesthetic. At the same time, what may seem like a short-sited vice in and of itself — a place for memorable, intricate melodies — is sorely missing from the record. Though the development of each song takes a finely crafted path, the payoffs for spending so much time along the way are fleeting at best. The most serenely unsettling moments come from nearly annoying sonic experiments on the right track. "Alles Sagt Ja” augments its main key-line just enough to twirl out of monotony, and "Blinde Zeichen” explores melancholy guitar riffs that pet the echoing, static-stained beats to bed with the help of cautious background strings for extra atmosphere. It’s remarkable more for its (probably) unappreciated resemblance to emo than for its gentle texture, and that kitschy by-product of self consciousness re-occurs enough to make me wish no one who knew a thing about post-rock had ever written a word about Couch. (Morr)