Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

I94 Bar: De Keefmen "Mirror of Time"

The worst thing about reviewing records is just how quickly you realise how much shit is being made under the banner of rock and roll. Tentatively, you reach into the sleeve, remove the disc and place it into the machine. You expect the worst, my friends. There are those who think I sit spider like in my web of evil, waiting to pour scorn down on whatever artist has had the misfortune to draw me as reviewer. It’s not true. I want every record to be great. I want to shout praise. I want to roll about in the sheer hedonistic pleasure of rock and roll.

The best thing about reviewing records is when something like this lands in your lap. The real thing. Screaming raw Dutch rock and roll. I’ll run that past you again. Screaming raw Dutch rock and roll. Don’t laugh. I have tasted this strange fruit and it is good. Apparently, there was this whole thing called the Nederbiet Sound in the Sixties. I know. I missed it too but I’m game for a bit of research if you are. I’m told this disc has an essential hint of this Nederbiet Sound by a rabid press release. For the moment, I’ll take their word for it.

How do I describe what I hear in De Keefmen? By the way, I’m not sure if this means they are Cavemen or big fans of the Rolling Stones. Either way serves as an entry level explanation of what’s on offer here. Imagine a nuggets inspired version of the Hives with a sprinkle of Strokes, Sonics and Barracudas. They also boast an ability to write effective songs. Four and a half bottles easy. I would have probably given them the full five if they’d stuck to twelve songs instead of fourteen. It’s not as if those extra two songs are bad, it’s just it kind of created a sense of sameness. If I had had the chance to listen to this disc for another week (and I will), I’d probably become familiar enough with this disc to restore the score.

They’ve put together a great sound. The organ is wonderfully deranged and the guitarist impresses with every fuzzed out riff and crashed chord. I’d like to tell you who did what on the disc but the promo copy I was sent doesn’t name names. Maybe they are all called Keef. The best thing about De Keefmen is they sound positively frantic. The vocals have a deranged quality like the Beatles singing “She Loves You”, Rob Younger covering “The Ballad of Dwight Frye” and Jeremy Gluck singing “Somebody”. That glorious sound of being desperate and crazed but not coming off as a try hard in the process. They sound like their wigs are flipped and you’ll want to flip yours too.

Sincerely, I cannot recommend this disc highly enough. It has all the qualities of a classic. Sorry guys. Just when you thought your record collection was complete...
me to cross the road to check them out.

Bob Short

Dirty Water Records London