Bielefeld, Germany's No Heart Country throw poetry, post-punk, country, and even some gospel into a blender with a half-ton of glacier ice, serving it up frosty as you like on their release Bad Sign.
Try and remember the late '70s or early '80s (or imagine them, if you weren't yet alive) - a time before underground, independent music splintered into a million factions, like Yahweh smashing the Tower Of Babel so we can no longer understand one another.
In the late '70s, in a forward-thinking 'burg like New York or Paris, it wouldn't be uncommon for a rockabilly band to open up for a synth/punk outfit and an artsy new wave headliner. Bands like the weird Central American mod freak-out of Kid Creole And The Coconuts might mingle with the brittle, twang-y surf punk of the Dead Kennedys, or the stripped down acoustic twitch funk of The Violent Femmes. Most of the time, genres like country, blues, folk, and gospel seem to inherently conjure images of some idyllic Appalachian Eden, sipping lemonade out of mason jars on the front porch, whistling on the way to the coal mines.
That seems to suggest that everybody with an acoustic guitar is super contented and peaceful - a nation of Walt Whitmans, blissed out and enlightened. The frost, razor-thin slicing gaze of post-punk casts a different picture, painting the mountain idylls in shades of black and silver. It's not bleak, per se, but it is darker and more nuanced, showing that not ever country dweller is totally okay with it, that there is more going on beneath the surface.
"Come To Me" contains shades of Joy Division and dark tendencies while "Blinded" combines sheets of white noise and a stoic vocal delivery. The post-punk influence is apparent on "Insane Feelings" which is arguably the most danceable track on Bad Sign. They close with another success entitled "Stranger".
No Heart Country is a deep, penetrating glimpse into the subconscious underworld - full of dream logic and contradictions. If you like poetic post-punk and artsy roots music, or if you remember a time before music was made up of warring factions, No Heart Country will light you up!
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