Impotentie – Demonstratieve Opnamens (Drunken Sailor Records / Swollen City Records 2018)

Impotentie are (as far as I can tell) a post-punk 2 piece from Montreal that sing in… wait for it… Dutch. Fucking Dutch, mate. I honestly would have had no clue, as I’m one of those complete ignoramuses that only speaks English, asides from a smattering of French, German and Spanish that will allow me to say stuff like hello, goodbye and order beer – as face it, beer is important. For some reason I speak all of these scraps of language with a Barnsley accent accent that bleeds into some kind of bizarre Mexican stereotype. Don’t ask me, I can’t explain why – there’s no real reason I can think of, so I’ll put it down to a case of snapped brain. But it also happened when I tried to master a couple of simple sentences in Japanese about ten years back.

Anyways, the band are apparently formed from members of Thee Nodes and Omegas. The title of this work translates directly as ‘demonstrative recordings’ and the band name translates directly as ‘Impotence’, although I guess that was pretty obvious. This 7in on DSR was originally issued on cassette last year via Swollen City Records. The sound quality is, as you’d expect very very ‘demo’, very lo-fi. Beyond this, it kind of sounds to me a bit like very, very early Pavement with Henry Rollins yelling in Dutch over the top.

To be perfectly honest, it’s not bad, but I’m not really grabbed by it either. Perhaps if I spoke Dutch I’d appreciate this more? If I’d not had a look on the internet and ascertained that there is a sizable Dutch diaspora in Montreal, I’d no doubt be asking is this was an attempt at “art”? If so it would clearly have been beyond my comprehension. Either that or I’d be asking: “Is this a joke that’s been taken too far?” I’d honestly have no way of knowing.

Somebody else (one Jonah Franco, providence unknown) who is evidently more clued up on this than I am describes the demo thusly:

“It’s the sound of a greyly lit kitchen in some nothing town with pitched roofs and gables, the smell of stale cigars and vinegar and the taste of meat in a tube on moist bread with watery coffee”

Sounds like a trip down memory lane to Stalinist Russia, that mate. Not very inspiring or appealing. Unless you count inspiring ambivalence as a plus factor. Perhaps if you are part of the Dutch speaking post-punk community or you like music that sounds like the description of a very shit meal consumed in a hovel, then you’ll get more out of this than I could.

Tony of Nurgle rating 4/10.

As usual I would suggest you check out this demo for yourselves and form your own opinion. Check the bandcamp player below:

You will be able to get this from Juice at Drunken Sailor here in the near future

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, currently living in exile in Croydon, South East London. He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also spent a couple of years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - hopefully in the not too distant future. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, rarely skateboarding, often reading books with maps in the front.

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