Germans Cape Fear

Germans Cape Fear
Stop right there with the easy quip — Germans are from Southern Ontario and Cape Fear is their debut album. Upon first listen it sounds a lot like a collection of spirited jams referencing early ’90s alt-rock in the vein of Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement, but this clumsy characterisation is unfair to Germans. They are damn clever songwriters (amongst them, one Leon Taheny, producer of both Final Fantasy albums) whose skills become increasingly apparent with repeated listens. Cape Fear maintains an engaging vitality, the determinants of which are somewhat tricky to pin down. Perhaps it’s how producer Al-P of MSTRKRFT fame has captured the band’s youthful vigour in every snare hit, group shout or synth line. Maybe it’s how they draw you in with a strong, accessible pop aesthetic but keep your attention with semi-decipherable, cryptic lyrics. Or maybe it’s the way the slanted logic of Malkmus, et al., having seeped into their collective consciousness, slyly infects the album without turning it into a stale tribute. Really, though, it’s that all of the above conspire to create a punchy, supremely enjoyable record that demonstrates that Germans aren’t as obvious as they initially seem. (Arena Rock)