(2009, Does Are)
RIYL = Psychedelic Horses Hit, Blank Dogs, Wavves
They opening track to the debut album from Tonstartssbandht is a self conscious recognition of the ridiculous unpronounceability of the band name. For just over a minute there is a question and answer session between a guy and a girl in which the band name is repeated 18 times. It’s somewhat silly but necessary seeing as how after listening to An When you are going to be repeating these guys’s name a lot…because it’s really good. I think the most wonderful thing I’ve noticed about the band is that while I should be able to pin down some good comparisons of Tonstartssbandht’s sound to other similar bands on the market right now, Tonstartssbandht defies easy associations. There is definitely elements of lo fidelity infused in the songs on An When, but I’m very hesitant to define the group by this aspect of their sound. The lo fidelity here is used as a tool rather than applied as an adornment leaving the songs with a wonderful waterlogged haze rather than an ear puncturing skree. Most simply put, Tonstartssbandht are a pop band, albeit a pop band from way out of left field. The songs are just way catchy, great harmonies, super delicious weird sounds and analog blisters rising all over the place. I don’t know how to categorize them really. The RIYLs up top are pretty misleading I think because Tonstartssbandht straddles the arena of hipster lo-fi with a heavy dose of neo tropical underwater new wave resurrection (wait, is that the same thing?). Right, that makes about as much sense as the band’s name. I can see that I am getting nowhere fast with this attempt at a critique. Regardless, An When is filled with murkily enjoyable pop that simply pleases to no foreseeable end. This is the type of music that will stick with you for a long time, demanding you to shut off other music in order to get a quick Tonstartssbandht fix. An When contains several of my favourite tracks I’ve heard this year and is sure to be a staple of my future mixtapes to friends. Lovely stuff that I think I like a lot more than I’m willing to exasperate about now. I don’t know why I haven’t seen this posted all over the blogosphere because this stuff is easy to gush about. Check it hard.
three videos - why not?