SH.TG.N – Sh.tg.n

Moonjune

Leonardo Pavkovic and myself have a good, outspoken relationship, for we’re both unflinching in expressing opinions on, respectively, what he publishes and what I write about those releases (not to mention other life issues, but that’s another story). The first CD of this Belgian sextet is a case in point for our ideas living on antipodean shores. Pronounced “Shotgun”, the group takes shape from six diversified musical backgrounds – practically, all the major genres are quoted by the press release – filtered by “slightly deviated minds” (that’s more or less what’s written on the blurb). The problem is that the resulting interaction – generated via keyboards, vibes, guitars, bass and drums – touches on many aspects without actually deepening a single one, trying to hide this “progressively punk shallowness” behind repeated choleric outbursts punctuated by Fulco Ottervanger’s pointlessly screaming / declamatory voice. Add layers of distorted chords thrown in abundant quantities to weak vibe lines and additional tricks of the trade covering a not exactly Olympian skilfulness, and you’re all set. There is a couple of interesting tracks where the energy is conveyed a little better, but in all honesty completing the listening was felt as a mere duty. At least they don’t sound like miniature replicas of Univers Zero.

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