releasedate: 23 februari 2023
STURP is weird. I knew that, because ages ago when I first started with MetalFromNL I reviewed one of their albums too (I think it was Rapid Germination). STURP is also awesome, because it’s just one guy creating it all. Multi-instrumentalist Daan combines elements of all kinds of music into some weird soundscape that’s heavy and sometimes crosses borders with alternative rock, progressive metal, jazz … all in all, pretty diSTURBed.
STURP describes it’s music as ‘instrumental crude noise with a twist’, or InstruMetal. However, really interesting to listen to and keep listening, cause I guarantee you everytime you hear the tracks you’ll discover something you haven’t discovered before.
The weirdness makes for exciting tracks, in the way Primus does, but purely instrumental. The country twang in the guitar and the use of the slider are also reminders of that name. The whole album feels like background music to some weird animated movie. Let’s dive into this 46 minute, 13 track realm of weirdness!
Let’s dive in
Windsock starts off really heavy, which makes me really excited for the rest of this album. It’s heavy in a Primus kinda way, heavy drums and guitars broken up by banjo riffs and heavily distorted guitar riffs.
Means of Propulsion is just weird. Really clean though, with heavy guitar and interesting breaks. But weird, especially the banjo riff that follows the heavy guitars. I wanted to write how I haven’t decided yet if I like it or not, but it still keeps me thinking so at least it’s interesting enough to listen to a few times and keep discovering new elements to it. Like the guitar solo and the weird guitar and banjo noise towards the end of the track. Why he chose this track title though I’m not sure, because of the breaks it feels more like a car engine that won’t properly start than an actual means of propulsion.
Potting Shed Pickle starts off as country rock song, though disturbed by weird almost industrial sounding drums. It’s one of the songs that feels like it has a song structure with a verse and a chorus, which is good because it gives us something to hang on too. It feels, with the exception of Back on the Drink, as the most inviting to listen too if you’re not into the weird stuff.
Palletized brings in a bit more of a drum and bass feel, weird in the way Venetian Snares would be weird, but done in a rocky, metally way. Definitely not the kind of music everyone will enjoy, and maybe also the kind of music that works best if you’re not doing anything else but listen too it, because otherwise you brain might fry. However, if you’re just lounging, maybe when the Sun shows itself again, sitting on your balcony or in the park with a drink, this almost feels like an art exhibition you can experience in stereo.
Not all tracks are that weird though. Small Window of Oppurtunity is more in the progrock or maybe almost shoegaze spectrum and even with the almost threatening build-up in the beginning is a little more easy to listen too. The repetition in the track makes that you can kinda prepare and look for what’s coming next which makes it a little easier to follow.
Autumnal Migration is another one of the easier songs to listen too. Also a bit more on the metal spectrum with the heavily distorted guitars and the deep dark sound. Which gets nicely broken up with the clean guitar droning riff.
Joined at the Hip starts off as another rock song. The parts could probably be rearranged to make straightforward rock song, but it feels like STURP put all the recordings in a blender and put them back in a deliberate but seemingly random order to create another weird but interesting track. This track is on the mellower side though, so maybe not really my thing.
Back on the Drink is maybe the most happy song of the album, and feels like the track the bar would play to announce final rounds. By the end of the track I half expected the lights to turn on and step into the cold dark night, on my way to home.
It’s not all praise though. Desperate Measures could have been left off this album. It’s too weird, even for me. Maybe it takes some getting used too and I should listen to it more. The weird techno vibe in the second half of the song doesn’t do it for me either.
Drain Declogger is pure industrial weirdness and has a very different vibe to it than most of the tracks, because of the distorted industrial drums. I feel like I’ve heard the drum intro with the bell in black metal before, and it has a very ominous and dark sound. Halfway through the song it becomes even darker, before turning back to the bell drums. Loved it. It’s also the longest song at 5.17
Scrapheap is the only track that features some human voices, al be it in what sounds like coffee company background noise. Another weird soundtrack that fits the weirdness of the city STURP lives in (Amsterdam). The droning riff that plays for most of the songs feels just a little bit off and makes you feel a little uneasy, stressed, as if you need to be on guard all the time. Wich might be how STURP interprets our city.
Sand Bag Area starts off as heavy rock song, but we are quickly reminded that this is still STURP by layers of clean guitar and banjo. The thumping guitar almost mimics a working machine or a train passing by. It drives the song forward and when it falls away in the middle of the song the beat still keeps going.
Final track is Grind to a Halt. I love the dissonant guitar in the intro and the rhythmic part that follows right after. It turns into a techno/industrial vibe after about 50 seconds or so, but it flows really well. There is some banjo chaos at the end of the track, almost as if to bring all the chaos STURP could fit in one more time before the end of the album.
The more I listen to Deny All Knowlegde, the more respect I gain for Daan. There are some absolute gems on this album that I really like. Small Window of Oppurtunity is probably one of my favorites, with the dark industrial vibe. Drain Declogger is high on the list for the same reason. Poting Shed Pickle is another great track, that as already ended up on one of my playlists. All in all Deny All Knowledge is an incredibly varied album and though the whole thing will certainly not please everyone, there are enough tracks that maybe one of them might be to your liking.
Especially if you enjoy the weird. We are all a bit weird, aren’t we?