After the thousand or so listen I’ve given this record over the past few weeks, I’ve come to the only logical conclusion that his album will go down as one of the greatest musical tragedies of the decade. Nosferatu D2 were (are) brothers Ben and Adam Parker on vocals/guitar and drums, respectively. Forming in 2005 and stopping 2007, during which they played a scant 18 shows and recorded four demos. Now two years too late, Audio Anti-Hero (a label created just to release Nosferatu D2's material) has released the ten-track debut album from the band, taken from the band’s demos which have been mastered by Adam. My only request for this album is that it gets every ounce of press and critical acclaim that it deserves for the genius these two brothers managed to put into it is in surreal.
To understand what I’m getting at, please picture No Age for a second. Now have the drummer grow an extra four arms and two more legs. And then the have the band fronted by a fusion of Stephen Malkmus and Gareth Campesino. This the general idea of what Nosferatu D2 is. Rarely in a two piece does anything ever let up. But in D2 Ben actually is light on over using his guitar, giving the music a slightly striped down feel, but at the same time giving his jangly, post-punk style riffs more power. Adam’s drumming is also pulled off masterfully. There are times were you forget it is only one guy playing instead of three. Controlled yet completely wild and chaotic, it never becomes over shadowing or pompous. Even when the guitar stops for a few seconds and it is only Ben’s singing and Adam’s drumming, neither one outshines the other.
Still what hold these songs together, their glue, is Ben’s song writing. There are few times when someone can spew pain, hate and possibly tears and not only not come off as a total prick, but manages to be smart and-dare I say-poetic. This is one of those times. “A Footnote” sets fire to the belief that any of the music you like actually matters. “Springsteen” takes it one step further, a disgusted look at everything Ben grew up with, all vile, corporate, and mutated into something resembling his worst ex. “Broken Tamagotchi” is an evil hate message rapped in loneliness . When he yells “Found myself in a lonely place/ Cried Myself Awake”, he might as well be talking to a wall. The songs work, however, because of their wit. He realizes he’s just as much to blame as the people he is so upset at. That the imaginary profanities he slings are just as much for him as for his enemies. In “Colonel Parker” he demands the world in pure sarcastic wonder that the world worship him, but that the only person stopping him is himself. “Mojo Top 100 is a mockery at bad music journalism and poor music taste (and an apparent deep rooted hatred of Phil Collins), even though realizing the joy it has triggered in people. It all collides on the album’s final track “It’s Christmas Time (for god’s sake)” when he sees his world fall apart at the happiest of times. If it doesn’t make your emotionless hipster heart beat a little, I don’t know what will.
It is so tempting to use the word masterpiece here, as forced as it may seem. However, I know an album of the year contender when I hear it, and this is definitely it. This is pure, 100% heart on the sleeve indie rock, with not an ounce of fat or bullshit, and there is no reason why this album should not be in your hands by the end of this sentence. The quest to get these guys back together starts here.
(mp3) Nosferatu D2-Springsteen
(mp3) Nosferatu D2-It’s Christmas Time (for god’s sake)
Nosferatu D2 myspace
Buy the album here, at Audio Anti-Hero
Superman Revenge Squad (Ben Parker’s new band)