Tiefschwarz Eat Books

Tiefschwarz Eat Books
Following last year’s killer remix of Spektrum’s "Kinda New” and the impressive Misch Masch compilation from earlier this year, Tiefschwarz’s long-awaited sophomore album comes with a big weight on their shoulders to deliver the next great dance album. Unfortunately, as good as Eat Books is it doesn’t quite live up to the hefty expectations. Brothers Ali and Basti Schwarz along with their studio partner Jochen Schmalbach have put forth a batch of some fine Kraut-bred techno-pop that shows an evident high regard for their forefathers Kraftwerk. They’ve done well drafting a mix of diverse vocalists to give the album a push, but at times it feels a little too much like the vocals are merely the music’s crutch to lean back on. The Rapture’s Matty Safer gives his best James Murphy vocal take on "Warning Siren” that without his day job’s credentials would have failed miserably. Chikinki’s two vocal contributions, oddly enough, don’t stray too far from the band’s own music, especially the punky "Wait and See,” but the Schwarzs would have been wise to recruit someone else for "Artificial Chemicals.” Unsurprisingly, the two standout moments include the unstoppably epic electro of "Issst” and the gorgeous EBTG tribute "Damage,” featuring none other than the "voice” herself, Tracey Thorn, who spreads her aural love exquisitely. Tiefschwarz deliver some glowing moments on Eat Books, but with some regrettable slip-ups — primarily using vocals for some of the stronger tracks and leaving weaker instrumentals to fend for themselves — the album feels uneven the whole way through. No matter how hip they are, next time ’round these guys need to put the substance before the style. (Fine)