It is of course totally wrong to judge books by their covers. Everyone knows this. However as a consumer, the combination of a word I don’t know (band name), a pun of some kind (album title) and another pun (label name) on an album I probably hate (don’t get me started on the fucking Rolling Stones) added up to a a subconscious “No” for me so I declined to review this album. However, my greedy habit of asking for actual albums in payment for review paid extra dividends (thanks to Rarely Unable) because as well as the things I wanted, I got sent this album. And despite a bit of an image problem (I don’t really even like the album art) I have, through repeated listens, become fond of the Antikaroshi.
What started out sounding like so much indie / math / post-hardcore has gelled into a very listenable album that draws from a few bands (“Red Line”-era Trans Am being one of the more obvious). This was one of the only obvious influences and it was shoved in my face on the first track that made me sit up and listen (“Hard Slog”) which starts out as a jittery piece of math rock before sliding into a super smooth vocoder pop chorus. Throwing a few synths in among the standard guitar / bass / drums setup doesn’t always work but they have used it to pace the album, also using a couple of instrumental songs to keep things interesting. And it is an interesting album. I don’t mean that in a chin stroking “I have nothing to say about this album” way. I mean that they write good songs and take those songs in unexpected but satisfactory directions. They play well and they sound like they believe in what they’re doing. That is pretty much all I have to say other than go and check out “Hard Slog”, “Knitting The World” and “Leponex” if you want a charismatic ingress into the world of this German trio.