merz

Despite his ambitious fourth album as Merz being greeted with a mixed response, there was no doubt that Conrad Lambert’s collaboration with electronic musician Matthew Herbert was a fascinatingly eclectic affair from start to finish. His relocation to the Swiss Alps inspired his most defiant work to date, with minstrel-like nylon-string guitars set to harsh electronica and challenging off-kilter rhythms juxtaposed with the occasional sky-facing melody.

For its naysayers, however, ‘No Compass Will Find Home’’s only redeeming feature was its interesting use of a plethora of instruments and the worldly textures created by them. With that in mind, it’s mildly perplexing that this alternate experience strips away all of that, with Lambert’s deranged whimper having only Julian Sartorius’s percussion for support. The result is rather joyless – like eavesdropping on the wails of a mentally unsound music teacher as his class practice for a parents-only production of Stomp. ‘Arrows’ offers a ray of hope, with a vague Thom Yorke-ish feel, but ultimately you have to wonder who’d want to give their time to this.

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