Album Review: The Call - Spitzer

The Spitzer brothers looking gloomy

Spitzer's album has been some time in the making with two years passing since their debut EP Roller Coaster.

It was time well invested though. Over the years brothers Damien and Matthieu have flirted with styles, moving through alternative rock to remixes of Kylie to, well... This. The Call feels like it borrows elements of the brothers' earlier experiences to create an overall much more enticing proposition. The dark near-gothic post-punk sensibilities combined with dirty clicks and pops and stark minimal in a way very reminiscent of Ivan Smagghe and the original Black Strobe incarnation he featured in.

The Call is likened by the promo material to a seventies prog rock record despite its electronic focus due to it's narrative arc and all encompassing diversity. I'm not sure I can read as much into the album's concept as the person trying to shift the units but the variety is certainly present. The record quickly shifts from building techno on 'Marsch', the kind of clanging acidic monster Simian Mobile Disco would make, to the live rhythms and sinister guitars of the cinematic 'Madigan'.

Guest vocals further change up the pace. Vocalist Fab, of Frustration (signed to the Parisian label Born Bad), turns in a rampant and breathless performance on 'Clunker'. It's less "good" than it is alive, messy and grabbing you for your attention but it doesn't totally fall flat either.

Kid A, who collaborated with the duo on their previous EP, provides a stronger contribution on the haunting 'Too Hard To Breathe'. The vocals are delicate and statuesque - like Björk buried in layers of grime, fuzzy bass and syncopated beats.

It's the instrumental work that stays the course and will come back to you though - the thick distortion and subtle Adonis 'No Way Back'-style bass of 'Breaking The Waves' and the shattered reverb and drone of 'Sergen'.

Spitzer have made a compelling and imaginative debut - dark and sparse and yet intricate.

The Call is released through InFiné on 3 September 2012.