Braunkohlebagger - Abbruch

5 songs
16:24 minutes
***** ****
This Charming Man


Even though brown coal production is rather a thing of the past, a band from the German Ruhr Valley decided to call itself provocatively Braunkohlebagger (brown coal excavator). The five musicians, some of whom are also active in other bands like Leitkegel, Depart and December Youth, founded this band at the end of 2017, and followed up half a year later with their first EP Abbruch. This self-release made such an impact that it was picked up by This Chaming Man one year later. The album may work well with the idea of brown coal production, but from a musical perspective, Aufbruch might have been a more fitting name.

The opener Endlosschleife starts heftily, and after a minute one might jump to the conclusion that we are in the presence of a metalcore band. Even though that genre might have left the one or other influence, the song soon and skilfully switches to post punk. Daniel Schnaithmannís vocals are quite charismatic and remind of Schorsch Kamerun of Die Goldenen Zitronen. Towards the end, the song turns to post rock and becomes downright melodic. The following Ameisenhaufen is at two and a half minutes the EPís shortest and fastest track. The screamed vocals go hand in hand with the fierce music. More dishevelled noise comes with Herz, although the choral vocals at the songís conclusion are quite the unexpected surprise. Wochenende juxtaposes screamo with melodic elements, and the mellow instrumental parts further enhance the piece. The concluding Zeichen starts rather quietly, then is getting more intense before culminating in an overpowering orchestral finish.

The guys are not doing anything groundbreakingly new, and yet Braunkohlebagger are acting in such a refreshing way that you are left wanting for more. If you allow me some comparisons, Iíd come up with Refused from Sweden or Waterdown from Germany who had some great moments in the early years of the millennium. When talent and motivation are so close to each other, nothing can actually go wrong. Itíd be nice to get a regular longplayer the following year.

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