Boomkat Product Review:
Tarwater are for me one of those bands that seem to have been around forever. I still remember hanging around the aisles in one indie record-shop or another, rooting around for old Tarwater remix 12"s after being gobsmacked by the incredible beauty of 'Silur' back in the day - so it's always a pleasure to see that the band are still cranking out the good stuff. Formed by Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok (of To Rococo Rot) who apparently were part of an East German punk band, 'Spider Smile' is Tarwater's second full-length for the very good Morr Music label, and shows that they have settled very nicely indeed into their loving new home. Where previously the two have flirted graciously with abstract indie-rock sounds and bubbling electronic oddness, this album sees them throw caution to the wind and produce a selection of perfectly formed pop music. It is possibly the album they have been promising to make for many years now, and without a doubt feels like they've hit a new peak in their ten-year recording career, enriching their songs with a lightness you wouldn't usually expect from the band. The album kicks off in typically grand style with the gorgeous electronic oddity 'Shirley Temple', which sounds something like the Velvet Underground being covered by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. As smouldering basslines simmer beneath waves of abstract analogue electronics and crackling samples you realise that this is the beginning of something very good indeed, and true to its promise we are launched into the album's first moment of pure pop with 'World of things to Touch'. Blending the electro-pop sensibility we have come to expect from Morr Music with that classic Tarwater sound we all fell in love with in the first place we get a shimmering piece of fractured indie music. Instead of concentrating on experimentation as they may have done in the past, Lippok and Jestram have instead decided to refine and sculpt their signature sound, and in doing so have created something memorable and addictive. Another winner for Morr who are having something of a vintage year so far, and another winner from a band that just keeps on going and going.