The Roogs – The Roogs (album review)

Imagine if Ennio Morricone had taken a different approach to Leone’s iconic Spaghetti Western soundtracks and decided to invent dream-pop whilst scoring them. You can’t imagine such a scenario? Well, give  The Roogs debut album a spin and you’ll get some idea what that might have sounded like.

Courtney Davies and Steve Gerdes are perhaps better known as half of the tribal-industrial band Fourwaycross but with that long-serving outfit currently on the shelf, the duo have come back to the musical fray as The Roogs, a band whose sonic spectrum is as impressive as it is unexpected.

Songs such as opening salvo Wildebeest wander down some trip-hop infused, chilled dance grooveways whilst at the other extreme the ghosts of their former incarnation is allowed to bubble to the surface, It’s Gods Own being a slab of white hot guitar noise wrapped around a pulsing bass line, whilst percussive additions are allowed to skitter across the surface of a locked down beat. I Still See You takes a pop approach but warps it into something more interesting, more edgy, more urgent, whilst Approaching Storm takes the form of a brooding and slow-building instrumental, one which mirrors the tension and charged atmosphere of its title.

It’s an album of contrasts. Ethereal voices are balanced against bombastic bass lines, lilting pop pastures are followed by incendiary, industrial noises, futuristic soundscapes sit alongside primal sounds. Thankfully, no one worries about genres any more otherwise you would find yourself either struggling to find the right one or applying almost every label you have ever heard of…or perhaps making a new one up altogether. There you go, that’s a fun game to keep you occupied. Let me know when you have found the answer.

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