Reviewed by : Jasmine Uitermark
Image credit : Our Man in Berlin
Entertaining every rhythmic muscle in our body, Our Man in Berlin’s sophomore EP Spirit Down serves up a platter of alt-rock riffs, reverb drenched tones and whispery falsetto woven into its pulsating pace.
Like a well-coached ball game, Spirit Down covers all bases with ‘Bones’ the first track fresh off the ranks, maintaining a polyrhythmic consistency interlaced with grating guitar licks reminiscent of 90’s grunge. The smattering of melodic vocals advances the ebb and flow of the tune as it injects itself into your bloodstream. “Lyrically it’s pretty scattered, but he (Haydn) wrote the chorus line about how sad all of Tony’s Abbott’s bullshit was making him.” said OMIB member Cain Munns’ in our interview recently.
Launching into ‘Molière’, the lead single from the Our Man In Berlin’s EP, the sounds on this track are well layered like an onion. With an intro that stirs up a fire in our cynical hearts, the back bone of ‘Molière’ is formed over a haze of echoing synths and cult like imaginings as ethereal vocals drift across the horizon of cyclic beats stirring the tempo from its slumber. Kicking into a sprint, the spate of sounds in the build envelope your ears as the disjointed bass and drums surge into a frenzy, biting into its juicy core amongst the chaos.
After the feverish fostering ‘Molière’ encouraged, ‘Spirit Down’ tucks our eardrums into a bed of cloudy obscurity, with melancholy vibes prominent amongst the lyrical musings of Haydn Mansell. As the subdued synths keep the song pushing on amongst the sleepy sense the general atmosphere wields, I found myself drifting off to some kind of rekindled Neverland and the safety cocoon, we as adults swaddle our spirits in.
‘Separate’ the fourth track from the Spirit Down EP, skimped a tad on the synth-laden identity I’ve come to mesh together with Our Man in Berlin. The featured guitar picking and scrapes accompanied by somewhat clashing tribal drum patterns were awkward yet entirely enticing in its composition, the undertones of the bass and muffled synths oozed nostalgia of drunken antics before Trevor Shotam laid down the law with his elemental guitarist groove and rapid-fire fingers.
The final track ‘Muster’ simplistic in its structure keeps you floating amongst the lulling harmonic tones and gentle ricocheting licks. With the drum beat progressing the stream of conscious drifting amongst hollow electronics, ‘Muster’ rounds off a diverse range of tunes in Spirit Down that fluctuate your pulse and simultaneously make you want to cosy up with your cat like a shy recluse.