All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: Audio-OK - Good Men

Audio-OK - Good Man
2006, Pussycat Kill Kill

Berlin quartet Audio-OK has its roots in early post-Soviet East Germany, where high school friends Torsten Volkmann (guitar/vox), Bjorn Volkmann (bass) and Niels Scherer (guitar/vox) got together to listen to illicit import albums from the likes of B52's, The Fall, Fugazi and Sonic Youth. The trio formed a Joy Division cover band before turning to their own material, gigging for the first time in 1993. The band split up a few years later, but reunited in the era of computer-based recording and have released their debut album, Good Man, adding Berlin drummer Eric Fessler in the process.

Good Man opens with Bad News, a Lo-Fi, Alt-Garage tune built on one riff. The talk/sing style and bare-bones instrumentation creates a stark sound that's mildly appealing in doses. Keep It is overly simplistic Grunge/Garage that leads into the musical misadventures of Between The Lines. A comparison had been floating around in my brain for several days but I couldn't come up with the name. It finally struck me today; Audio-OK reminds me a lot of 1980's Pop/Punk outfit The Pressure Boys, although MLV sounds a bit like Bobby "Boris" Pickett (The Monster Mash); this is most apparent on The Good Man, which also happens to be the best songwriting on the disc. Audio-Ok closes out with Higher and a live version of Gush; the former a rant and the latter something of a mess.

Audio-OK has some nice moments on Good Man, but it's a fifty-fifty proposition. The talk/sing style will be a matter of taste; the music in general is highly simplistic, and melody is more of an afterthought than a central theme of the songs. Audio-OK gives it their all on Good Man.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Audio-OK at

No comments: