Lewsberg – in session at 3voor12-Radio – February 25, 2019 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Lewsberg to end the week. A reasonably new band on the scene, hailing from Rotterdam and sounding very much like an homage to Velvet Underground. They are in session tonight. Recorded by VPRO in The Hague on February 25, 2019.
Lewsberg are a Dutch post-punk quartet from Rotterdam, consisting of Arie van Vliet (vocals, guitar), Michiel Klein (guitar), Shalita Dietrich (bass) and Joris Frowein (drums), named after writer and fellow Rotterdammer Robert Loesberg, famous for his controversial novel Enige Defecten published in 1974. The book is the main source of inspiration for the band with its portrayal of the counterculture and big-city cynicism of the 1960s and 1970s. After putting out The Downer (EP/cassette) and 7″ single Non-Fiction Writer in 2017, Lewsberg released their self-titled debut Lewsberg full-length in April 2018 featuring nine rudimentary and repetitive rock songs, full of a tough, nonchalant intensity. The group’s sound recalls the likes of The Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500 and Television.
Sometimes change comes with big shocks, sometimes it comes with small steps. On ‘In Your Hands’, Lewsberg’s new album (released in October 2021), a bit of both seems to be happening. Take the second song, ‘The Corner’. A remarkably discreet song: a violin plays a simple melody; a gentle drum loop keeps its finger on the pulse. “This brick is a brick to build”, it sounds, though a little later: “This brick is a brick to throw”. A brick offers many possibilities, for those who want to see it. One time as a part of something bigger to come, the next time just as a simple stone, left on the ground. After all, most things are relative. Sometimes one can achieve more by breaking something than by building something. If you think you can determine which of the two is needed, you’d be fooling yourself.
‘In Your Hands’ embodies the moment when all the bricks are there, but the wall has yet to be built. It’s a moment with perspective, a moment where everything still seems possible, but caution is advised. The album sounds both smaller and more spacious than the previous albums. Guitar chords are plucked instead of fiercely struck, the bass guitar is given more room for melodic explorations, the drum kit is dismantled to just a tom and a tambourine. There is doubt in the lyrics, but it’s a strong kind of doubt. A doubt that can stand in the way of a wrong decision but also invite for a good conversation.
Get acquainted. Pull up a floor and crank it up.
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