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in English
last updated on
november, 26th

The Notwist give a lot, but they expect something in return. Their music, while being accessible, offers the listener a challenge. That challenge is to cast aside preconceptions and look beyond the surface. What does this blend of heavy baroque guitars, electronic samples, brooding yet melodic ovals and bluegrass have to offer? The Notwist provide a foray into something new by taking a cue form German philosophy- namely, the dialectical process.   
Thesis and antithesis collide, and in the rubble, something new is formed. Everything has its antecedent, but the challenge is to borrow from a vast body of work without stooping to blatant appropriation. The worst and most unforgivable crime in contemporary music is the creation of something derivative, unless of course it is fortified with a strong sense of irony. The Notwist is anything but derivative. They even strive to answer the as yet unanswerable: Is it possible to glean anything remotely positive and useful from the annals of metal? The Notwist take on this heady task and emerge unscathed.   

Even at their most unbridled and aggressive moments, the songs that make up 12 purvey a surprising level of candor.

Marcus Acher's hushed, Nicoesque vocals provide a stark contrast to his angular, lurid guitar playing. The vocals and guitar are layered over a lush, rhythmic foundation provided by Michael Acher (bass) and Martin Messerschmidt (drums). The use of the trombone, the banjo and electronic samples lend an interesting facet to The Notwist's compelling music. Stark, metaphorical narratives on songs such as "The String" and "The Incredible Change of Our Alien" are balanced by the straightforward driving rock on "M" or the frenetic and frenzied construction of  "My Phrasebook".   

The second CD which accompanies 12 is comprised of remixes and rare tracks. Both "The String" and "The Incredible Change of Our Alien” were remixed for this EP by Critter (Ministry, Filter, Jesus Lizard). "Johnny and Mary" is a Robert Palmer cover taken from -an import only compilation of other such Palmer tributes. "Torture Day (Loup)" and "Noah" were previously released on a limited edition European version of 12. This particular version of "Torture Day" is a cover by sometimes Smog vocalist and solo artist Cynthia Dall.