Schnauser - Protein for Everyone. 2014 England

My big fear coming into Protein for Everyone, my first encounter with Schnauser, is that there would be traces of indie/alternative music. Not that I read this anywhere, but instinctively the younger bands have it in their DNA due to constant exposure, different than my own generation. I can't stand that music myself. The monotone sound and nihilistic outlook goes against my very optimistic and creative nature. Give me a pissed off metal band any day - at least they care enough to be mad!

So with that out of the way - Schnauser have succeeded entirely on not dragging that element into their sound. Hooray! This is square-on psychedelic era Canterbury music, of the kind that didn't get past 1971. The soft affected vocals, the period instrumentation (especially the keyboards and fuzz bass), and the melodies are all extremely well done. It doesn't quite have the depth of the masters, and one does begin to think that if Stereolab had emulated Soft Machine or Caravan, rather than French 60s pop and Neu!, this would have been the result. That would have been great actually, now that I think about it.

The first 4 tracks are the highlight, and it begins to slowly break down from there. On first glance, 'Disposable Outcomes' appears this will be Schnauser's 'Nine Feet Underground' or 'Esther's Nose Job'. Alas it isn't, primarily because the band opted out of giving us some fuzz keyboard jam moments, and instead offers some weird story. That's really too bad, because there are moments throughout where I thought this would be a 5 star masterpiece. So in the end, it lived up to its title. On that note, this is one of the very few albums where a 4 star/Gnosis 11/excellent grade could be considered a disappointment. All the ingredients are here (they go so far as to define the band makeup in the CD literally as ingredients!) and they succeed, but I feel they did not transcend the genre, when you instinctively know they have the ability to do so. Still - this is a must own if you enjoy the early Canterbury movement.

Personal collection
CD: 2014 Esoteric Antenna

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