dEUS : Keep You Close
The name literally means ‘God’. They are not yet so deified but are they bigger than Jesus? In Belgium at least they could well be. They are the biggest band in the land. So big in fact, that other pretenders to the throne such as Dead Man Ray or Zita Swoon feature past or present members of dEUS. On the eve of their first Australian tour, Keep You Close is timely. At least to Australian audiences, because it was released quite a while ago overseas. Not as volatile as some of their earlier material, Keep You Close is no less easy to pin down. While the free form embellishments are now mainly confined to live performance, the band remain irreverent and exploratory.
Dragging along former Afghan Whigs vocalist, Greg Dulli, to help out on Twice [We Survive] and Dark Sets In is a masterstroke. This lets some dark intensity seep in between the cracks of some rather refined musicianship. The title track is all Bacharach orchestral peaks although the singing remains a little too pop to be on the edge of the vanguard. The Final Blast returns to more scab-piking sounds before the Dulli contributions reaffirm that the band understand the importance of the medium they inhabit.
Ghost is exhilarating despite the macabre topic has some jagged wordplay. Now several records and years into their quest, dEUS are delicately seasoned. The End Of Romance could, with a little more sadness, be The Tindersticks, whilst Second Nature and Easy close out the record in a most venerable way with burgeoning noir intent. This record cements the view that dEUS know a thing or two about atmosphere. The gently rumbling and grooves are full of grace and life for shinny happy people looking for a little monochrome in their life.
BY BRONIUS ZUMERIS
Best Track: Second Nature
If You Like This, You'll Like These: Air, Spiritualized, The Tindersticks
In A Word: Delicious