The Notwist Close to the Glass

The NotwistClose to the Glass
For over two decades, the Notwist have demonstrated their German pop efficiency or, say, "Kraftwerk" unerringly writing songs with earworm quality hooks and melodies. On their first album in six years (not counting a release with the collaborative side project, 13 and God, that they share with hip hop weirdoes Themselves), the only notable shift in balance is a slight tipping of the scale towards the weight of electronic over acoustic instrumentation.

But even in their computer world, they make playful use of arpeggio and digital handclaps rather than succumb to a colder square-cut sound. The other band signature that remains is Markus Acher's ESL-quality turn of phrase that, nonetheless, draws you deeper into the song. From the Stereolab-ish bounce of "Kong" to the MBV-ish swoon of "7 Hour Drive" the middle third of the album crushes like a polite juggernaut, and the rest is fine build up and aftershock. Here, everything runs on time, all the time. (Sub Pop)