De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid - Blood on the Floor

Simply put, no Dutch band ever sounded like this. For a brief moment dNV really did burn bright as a creative force. Their shows were one-offs; extraordinary fusions of naivety, brilliance, disaster, truculence and vision.

 

De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid - Blood on the Floor

(Willie Anderson recordings http://www.konkurrent.nl/ )

 

Ah, dNV, what should we make of you?

 

How do you recommend a release by a band that's just split? A difficult one to pull off for your friendly reviewer, there's no doubt about that. Still in this case I heartily recommend that you give this awkward, spiky, committed and high octane release a listen or three, as it is, in many ways as shocking as a lightening bolt out of the blue.

 

Simply put, no Dutch band ever sounded like this. For a brief moment dNV really did burn bright as a creative force. Their shows were one-offs; extraordinary fusions of naivety, brilliance, disaster, truculence and vision. Not that many people cared; many established "music scene types" in Holland were pretty intimidated by this heady cocktail of ambition and (justifiable) arrogance. As with all bright flames dNV was soon extinguished, but you have to hope that like-minded souls will take heed and use this sort of spirit as a template to greater things.

 

As a document, this CD is a fairly accurate reflection of where this band was at when it split. Bags of talent, far too much impatience (in some way symbolised by the fact that the first three tracks on this album are very clumsily segued), but redeemed by blistering rock melodies that don't really conform to any real accepted song book. Passing similarities could be made to MBV or Radiohead, but that would be a little bit too glib. They sounded like themselves.

 

Once you have reconciled yourself to the high-octane charge of the first three tracks, you will notice that there are some brilliant moments in these songs; You Want My Blood on the Floor contains a brilliant reprise, whilst Winter is a beautifully soft reflection and a great counterpoint to that opening rush. Red Yellow Blue is their most accessible pop song, akin to a clear stretch of water shimmering full of possibilities and truly inhabiting the beautiful world My Bloody Valentine found themselves in around the time of Loveless.

 

Above all this is an honest record; at odds with a lot of the wannabe UK/US sounds-artifice that always infects the Dutch music scene. Maybe that's what pissed so many people off, after all no-one likes having their safety blanket removed... No, on reflection it is a shame but at least they got this out.