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dEUS: In a Bar, Under the Sea


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dEUS: In a Bar, under the Sea

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Released in 1996

Produced by Eric Drew Feldman

Core Line-up: Tom Barman (Vocals, Guitar), Stef Kamil Karlens (Vocals, Bass), Jules De Borgher (Drums), Klaas Janszoons (Violin), Graig Ward (Guitar)

Tracklist

1. I don’t mind what ever happens

2. Fell off The Floor, Man

3. Opening Night

4. Theme From Turnpike

5. Little Arithmetics

6. Gimme the Heat

7. Serpentine

8. A Shocking Lack Thereof

9. Supermarketsong

10. Memory of a Festival

11. Guilty Pleasures

12. Nine Threads

13. Disappointed in the Sun

14. Roses

15. Wake me up before I sleep

Let me first introduce this band. dEUS is one of Belgium’s finest rock bands and the most important band in the Antwerp music scene. They started in the early nineties during the boom of alternative music. In 1994 they released their debut album Worst Case Scenario, which got excellent reviews (even in the British press). It’s quite difficult to describe the music of dEUS, because it’s quite unique (especially the first 2 albums). Allmusic describes dEUS as alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Prog and Experimental Rock, but that doesn’t really clear things out. In a way you can compare them to Indie/Alternative artists like Beck, PJ Harvey and Pavement and some of their influences are Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and Tom Waits.

In a Bar, Under the Sea from 1996 is dEUS second full-album and the best IMO. The album opens with a 45 seconds short introduction, that sounds like an ancient blues song. The first real song is the Beefheart-esque Fell off the Floor Man. The lyrics may not make any sense, but this song really rocks and is very catchy and funky in his own way. Another song in the tradition of Beefheart is the weird A Shocking Lack Thereof, the most difficult and mysterious song of the album. . The haunting Theme from Turnpike samples Charlie Mingus, quotes Bruce Springsteen (“New Jersey Turnpike riding on a wet night†from Nebraska’s State Trooper) and could be the perfect soundtrack for a David Lynch movie. The beautiful pop song Little Arithmetics is another highlight, just like Serpentine and Gimme the Heat.

Supermarketsong and Memory of A Festival are two short songs, the first one has Morphine’s sax player Dana Colley as guest musician and the latter one is a catchy punkrocksong about a gig at Torhout-Werchter in 1994 (at the time they played at the camping festival, this year they will be headliner on the third day of Rock Werchter, before Placebo). A echoing piano opens the melancholic ballad Disappointed in the Sun, one of the best songs of dEUS and the actual title song (it ends with the line “And that's why we're thinking, that's why we're drinking in a bar under the seaâ€). The second to last song on the album is my absolute favourite on the album and my favourite dEUS-song: Roses. The song starts with a threatening bass line and evolves into a climax, a storm of noise and distortion. Wake me up before I sleep ends an excellent album, which is played best at night with a glass of wine, whisky , a strong Belgian Beer (I suggest Duvel or a Trappist-beer) or Guinness. I may have forgotten to mention the short Opening Night, the psychedelic Guilty Pleasures and the jazzy Nine Threads, but they are also excellent songs on a great album.

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