CH | Psychedelic, stoner, garage rock
A virus comes along and orders the cultural world to come to a standstill. But the universe is more powerful and cannot be stopped. With their third album, The Universe By Ear have worked their way further into their own sound cosmos. After the liberating I and the structured II, the trio explores the depths and depths on their third album. So it's not surprising that the almost 45 minutes of music are divided into just five songs, with lengths between 7.5 and 12 minutes. The Universe By Ear continues to use angular breaks and rapid changes as stylistic devices, but there are now more and more parts that breathe, proliferate and at times rebel against their creators.
The opening "Sail Around the Sun" begins powerfully and deals with man's constant search for new horizons, then embarks on an instrumental circumnavigation of the world and finally, in the driving final third, takes a look inside a driven person. The triptych "Something In The Water" presents itself in a similarly multi-layered manner, at times insane, then claustrophobic and finally sublime, singing about the element that makes up a large part of our planet. Anyone who survives the first four minutes of the musical wild water ride will find themselves in the padded cell, after which they can set sail out to sea.
In the water, the flip side of the album continues: "Salty River" is about the few rivers that flow inland from the sea. Accordingly, the song, which deals with return and regression, refers to classic epic rock patterns. But the break awaits inland: the tricky "Monolihts", the deliberately transverse insertion, looks into a dystopian future and sounds like machines and mathematics. The instrumental middle part of the straightforward "Lie Alone" is rounder. It's about the search for happiness, about leaving the profane behind. A song like a night drive, with a rolling groove and only occasionally disturbed by the headlights of oncoming cars. The drive finally continues on the "2 Hour Drive" with reduced instrumentation. "We don't know were we're heading but it's gonna be a two hour drive" is the motto here in a metaphor for life, where only the duration can be roughly estimated. the outcome remains uncertain, and so the supposedly pop song ends with "Are We There Yet?" into a coda that may equally signify sublimity or doom.
Like the two predecessors, The Universe By Ear recorded their third album live, largely free of overdubbs. And while the experts are still divided as to whether the third wave has already begun outside the studio, one thing is already certain: "III" is a concept album about water, space and character traits. And the third big bang a tsunami.
Stef Strittmatter: guitar, vocals
Pascal Grünenfelder: bass, vocals
Beni Bürgin: drums, vocals