Naked City Soundtracks

What a relief to discover a post-rock band who seem vaguely happy to be alive in the first place...

CONSIDERING POST-ROCK WAS supposed to free rock musicians from the shackles of traditional indie schmindie posturing, we haven’t seen much in the way of celebration. What a relief, then, to discover a post-rock band who seem vaguely happy to be alive in the first place. Hamburg five-piece Kante may tend the same musical allotment as the Tortoises and Trans Ams of this world, but the studied Open University uncool of their elders is nowhere to be seen.

On the contrary, ‘Zwischen Den Orten’ is infused with a last-day-of-term euphoria, missing in so much of their competitors’ efforts. Opening tune ‘Tourisme’ flounces along without a care in the world, bringing Stereolab on full fringe-flinging mode to mind.

‘Paradizer’ seems to employ the book mice from [I]Bagpuss[/I] on backing vocals – smart move – while Sebastian Vogel slips nonchalantly from German to English and back again. At times it could almost be the missing link between Can and the Happy Mondays, especially on ‘California’ with its slippy slide guitars and casually strummed bass.

Then, just as we settle completely into sun-soaked relaxation, along comes the schizophrenic thrash of ‘Anatomie’ to sneak an ice cube down the back of our mental swimming trunks. The cheek of it!

Surprises? Laughs? Singing fictional marsupials?! It’s about time someone ironed the furrows from the creased brow of post-rock. Kante seem more than up to the challenge.