Fotocrime - South Of Heaven

13 Mar 2020 - Thorsten

Post-Punk | Profound Lore Recordings | Release date: 13 Mar 2020

Facebook Bandcamp Shop

Former hardcore shouter shows his love and understanding of real Post-Punk.

It can have various reasons why bands split up – personal tensions, the death of a band member or different musical directions. When you listen to Fotocrime’s second full-length record South of Heaven you can guess that the break-up of his colossal not-to-be-named hardcore band was because of the latter. This record is pretty far away from hardcore in a sense that R. is not screaming on this record and neither is the sound gritty or dirty. This follow-up to 2018’s Principle of Pain is polished in a positive way.

The ten tracks span 44 minutes and there is not one minute on it in which you will not move your feet – sometimes involuntarily. The drums are clean and sharp and together with the nearly funky bass you have a rhythm section that is right up the sleeve of anyone who likes to dance to his indie songs or anyone who likes the dance-able New Order-tracks more than Joy Division. His deep and sometimes maniacal voice is so nicely melancholic and on point that you see Nick Cave running into your favorite underground club, hitting some buttons on the jukebox; then shaking his song to an unknown early Bad Seeds-song when he was still a punk at heart and not yet the magical crooner.

“This is a record for late night drives, a soundtrack for headlights illuminating the horizon,” R. says and man, it is easy to imagine all of us driving along empty metropolitan highways in the middle of the night on a regular Tuesday night when no one is out on the streets listening to this record. The drums which are synthetic and spreading so much energy will keep us driving a few miles above speed limit. An individual Ryan Gosling in Drive or a youthful Bruce Willis in Fifth Element.

R.’s voice is unique although it will remind those of us who are into German punk of the 90s a lot of Marcus Wiebusch of But Alive and Kettcar. He is straight-forward in his delivery but never sardonic which is important because an unemotional presentation would only result in too much sterility. This way the voice keeps it all together, whether it is the mentioned rhythm section or the nice guitar-work which of course doesn’t focus on riffing but rather on stacking licks and dots onto the synthesizers. Even though he sometimes pulls one on you and gives you a tiny bit of dirt and grit.

If you are into post-punk and 80s wave in any way, this record will make you very happy as you will get a perfectly balanced record and a voice to die for on top. If you know R.’s former band and hope that his debut was a one-timer and he will return to punk and hardcore with his sophomore record – well, then this will be a disappointment.