After being lucky enough to witness their stunning, simply stunning set at the phenomenal Liverpool Psych Fest I happily bought Im Sinne der Zeit by Swiss trio Klaus Johann Grobe.
Truth be told though, the set got off to a tempestuous start. Running late and fussing with the mic levels when the crowd in the Blade Factory were getting fractious to get on with the show. When they started through, frayed tempers melted away and, as one, people began nodding their heads. By the end of the seat everyone squashed in seemed happy and euphoric from such a vibrant set.
Later in the week I was pitching the band to a friend “There’s three of them, one keyboard player, one drummer, one bass player and the vocals are all in German”. My friends response: “I’m in”.
Looking at the album song by song is a tad redundant as to be honest, the record is to a degree, slightly one-dimensional. Klaus Johann Grobe have a template and pretty much stick to it. But you know what? They are very, very good at what they do. ‘Between The Buttons’ starts us off with post punk bass with parping keyboards and frisky drums. With breathy vocals it’s all rather disco. ‘Kothek’ is the album highlight, with thumping beat, cheeky keyboard riff and vocals you wish you could sing along to. ‘Schlaufen Der Zukunft’ is also excellent: if Kojak had been made in Europe in the 70s, the theme tune may well have sounded like this. There is something warm and cosy about this song, like corduroy. ‘Aufstand’ also impresses with echoed tinny drums and heavy twanging bass. ‘Vergangenes’ closes the album by bringing the pace down with an end-of-the-night-time-to-go-home vibe.
A stripped down trio of three component instruments is part of this band’s appeal. A rhythm section with keyboards splashed on top, this band is an engine. It may be efficient but it can switch up through the gears and gets motoring. This is an album that purrs like an E-Type jag.
This is one of those examples where listening to an album sat on your arse at home is missing the point of the band. Places like a tiny concrete room in Liverpool is where these guys shine: getting people nodding their heads and dancing as energetically as possible in a confined space. This also helps overcome their problem with being a tad samey: when it’s 1AM you want repetition, you just want a plentiful supply of grooves.
Energetic, effervescent and downright fun, these guys will get you dancing. So get off your arse, get a bottle from the fridge and dance about your kitchen until they come to a town near you…
In fact, try it now…