Von Spar Von Spar

Eschewing the familiar pop song and turning towards the classical structure, this mysterious German band pack many, mostly successful, ideas into the various movements of these two songs. Moving from ambient post-rock to deep tribal drumming to jerky post-punk, all within their first song, Von Spar delight in their dark and intriguing visions. Of the two tracks, "Xaxapoya” is the most compelling, as its various movements and moods flow wonderfully into one another, giving it a great atmospheric consistency. Even when the music turns surprisingly accessible, with a drum beat, sparse guitar and post-punk vocals emerging from the haze around the 15-minute mark, it feels right. It succeeds because it sounds like Von Spar were building the song from its most basic aspects from the very beginning. The second half, "Dead Voices in the Temple of Error,” is a little sludgy compared to the first and sticks to post-rock ideas at the start before taking a dark, disturbing turn with metal-esque vocal growls and improvisational keyboards. In the end, this album succeeds as it keeps the listener from ever getting too comfortable and you can’t nail this band down. Original and fascinating, it’s a hard listen but an infinitely rewarding one. (Tomlab)