So, what can you expect from the debut album from a band made up of a German, a Hungarian and two Austrians? Perhaps maximum riffs right out of the hard rock playbook with enough post punk quirkiness to keep your sensitive ears from going floppy? Indeed, that’s what you get from Durcel Haze and their album “Down The Rabbit Hole.”
Although the name of this album would suggest some sort of mystical motivation, there isn’t actually much in the way of light, shade or magic to be found for this is more of a muscle car on the drag strip kind of album designed to get the blood pumping through your veins and, although thoroughly decorated with hard edges, it has to be said that every song has some, often obscured by volume, subtleties that make a second listen worthwhile.
Like many albums of this time and place, there is an underlying bleakness to the lyrics disguised by the full on vocals, pounding drums and testosterone overdose guitar that keep these songs forever in motion. Yet, it is also hard to deny that the apparently limitless energy that Durcel Haze seem to possess is balanced by a notable degree of intellectual poise and, therefore, ending on a singalong anthem like “Stand Together” seems stylistically appropriate. Fade to black as the man with the plan might say.
Best song: The manic post punk “Right In Your Face.”