File this one under "they don't make 'em like that anymore." Which is, of course, an exaggeration, but does say something about Selig and their stubbornly '90s brand of unadorned grown-up rock. They still start off with grunge 19 years after Nevermind -- which alone is impressive enough -- but add a healthy blues-rock influence in the Black Crowes vein to channel maturity, not angst. Not that they limit themselves to one approach, though, as there are space rock jams (see the closer) and harmonica, pianos, and synths when there's need for them; but in general, this is straightforward guitar music that relies on riffs and textures, not speed or heaviness, to get the point across. They don't go for easy pop hooks, either, but the music is nevertheless catchy enough -- just because the riffs are damn good. Sure, some cuts are better than others -- oddly enough, the first half of the record feels less impressive than the second, or maybe it's just more lighthearted -- and sometimes the influences are too obvious: "Lass Sie Reden" is a take on "Remedy," and the title track channels RHCP's "Californication." But when Selig are on, they can deliver a no-frills guitar tune with the best of them, on par with Urge Overkill or Jerry Cantrell -- though the vibe is closer to Temple of the Dog on sunnier songs and streamlined Soundgarden on darker ones -- and they are on most of the time. Even the lesser tunes have something to justify them: "Doppelgänger," for example, begins like an annoyingly addictive provincial rock B-side, but ends in a burst of dark psychedelia and slips into a haunting ballad. Von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit may not be the most original rock record of 2010, but it's certainly one of the most mature, as well as a fiendishly enjoyable way of dispelling the notion that the Germans ain't got no groove.
Share this page