Merz- No Compass Will Find Home (Album Review)

Rating:

There’s 2 versions of No Compass Will Find Home. There’s the good one and the not so good one. Unfortunately, the Julian Sartorius Drum & Vocals rendition is the version that took the good and stripped away all that was pleasant about it.

Taking a risk is something that should always be commended in music. Thing is, risks have a nasty habit of not paying off. Few things demonstrate this more than this album which, mercifully, is only 10 tracks long, and 3 of those are just short filler (that would be you, ‘Lauterbrunnen Miniature 1, 2 & 3’).

‘The Hunting Owl’ kicks the whole thing off by deciding that all listeners must have a headache before continuing with the rest of the album. The sound is similar to if there was  a helicopter nearby drowning out everything but the vocals. Immediately, there’s the realisation that this kind of music works better as an art rather than an album.

The major case in point for “more like art than music” is ‘Arrows’. It’s exactly the kind of music you’d expect to hear in the background of an A Level Drama piece that’s intended to be “out there” and “edgy”. When listening to your music on shuffle, it is precisely not what you expect or want to crop up.

Other than that, it’s mostly track after track of expecting and hoping for another instrument to jump in. Each song toys with the idea of introducing the steady acoustic tones of the original recording but carries on with a tinny beat. The only saving grace is ‘Toy’, as in it’s the only one that sounds like a complete track because the vocals are doing most of the work anyway.

By the time title track ‘No Compass Will Find Home’ comes around there’ll likely be few people left listening. At least the album is only 10 tracks long. It being short means there’s more time to wonder why someone felt this had to be done.

In the interest of finding a positive where possible, it at least sounds like it’s actually happening, rather than being a recording.