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Not From There



Australia's Not From There is a loud, fuzzed-out full-on rock assault. Austrian singer Heinz Riegler spits forth his lyrics with a controlled sneer reminiscent of The Fall's Mark E. Smith. Riegler's lyrical stories are bizarre, obtuse, and verging on incomprehensible, especially when he sings in German ("Sich Offnen," sung in both German and English, was a hit in Australia despite the obvious language barrier... but any English speaker can decipher phrases like "Mein Musik ist negativ").

The music sounds vaguely familiar, inviting (distant) comparisons to The Fall, Sonic Youth, Slint, Mudhoney, and Girls Against Boys. Churning guitars wrangle with an insistent rhythm section and Riegler's sly vocals. Songs are sprinkled with samples, artfully used electronic sounds, and a taste of dub influence beneath the raucous rock and roll attitude.

Not From There certainly has worked hard to get the music to the people: in 1991, the band formed in London; in 1992, they released two EPs, and two members were deported to their native Australia; in 1993, the whole lot of them moved to Bratislava and then back to Australia; in 1995, Riegler was deported to his native Austria; in 1996, the band reunited in Australia (everyone was there legally this time...) and continued to tour and record; and in 1999, Kool Arrow released Sand on Seven, their debut full-length in America. Was it worth the wait (not to mention the travel bills)? Hell, yeah. This album bristles with attitude and creativity, combining punk rock's energy and indie rock's oblique song structures. You'll be singing along before you understand what you're saying.

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