Album: Herman Düne

Not on Top, TRACK & FIELD
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The Independent Culture

Disingenuous whimsy will get you only so far in pop - even the kind of rudimentary indie pop of Not on Top, so resolutely lo-fi it was recorded in mono. Sticking mostly to sparse arrangements of simple guitar parts and rudimentary drum grooves in the Pavement manner, there's little here that holds attention or affection. Moments after listening to it, it's hard to bring to mind any of the melodies, save for those that resemble REM or Doobie Brothers tunes ("Slow Century" and "Had I Not Known", respectively), while the Swiss/Swedish combo's lyrical diet of indie navel-gazing and premature midlife crisis fretfulness has few insights. The best tracks are those on which David-Ivar Herman Düne affects the sinister, brutal honesty of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, such as the self-disgusted "Good for No One" and the chilly "Walk, Don't Run", in which he displays a cruel lack of sympathy for a friend hurt in love: "You're right, she was the one/ And she's never gonna come back, she's gone". His brother Andre He

Disingenuous whimsy will get you only so far in pop - even the kind of rudimentary indie pop of Not on Top, so resolutely lo-fi it was recorded in mono. Sticking mostly to sparse arrangements of simple guitar parts and rudimentary drum grooves in the Pavement manner, there's little here that holds attention or affection. Moments after listening to it, it's hard to bring to mind any of the melodies, save for those that resemble REM or Doobie Brothers tunes ("Slow Century" and "Had I Not Known", respectively), while the Swiss/Swedish combo's lyrical diet of indie navel-gazing and premature midlife crisis fretfulness has few insights. The best tracks are those on which David-Ivar Herman Düne affects the sinister, brutal honesty of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, such as the self-disgusted "Good for No One" and the chilly "Walk, Don't Run", in which he displays a cruel lack of sympathy for a friend hurt in love: "You're right, she was the one/ And she's never gonna come back, she's gone". His brother Andre Herman Düne favours declarations of outsider oddity like "Little Wounds" ("They gave me two left hands, and awkward spirit and a clumsy mind") and fanciful ruminations on ageing in "Slow Century", but there's little illumination from either sibling.

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