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Berlin's Surrogat draws influence from both the thick mathy post-punk sound epitomized by any and all of Steve Albini's projects and the dreamy, cinematic languor of bands like Scenic or Tortoise. In turn, this blend of darkwave guitar and proto-jazz funk has elicited praise from both John Peel and Albini himself. But whatever you do, don't call Surrogat post-rock. Both the band and their label eschew that baggage-laden moniker, and it's understandable why. Though some of the songs on the album meander through deconstructed sonic landscapes, the balance maintain a muscular energy that can only be called "rock," with nary a "post" in sight.

The seven songs on 1997's Hobby (two are remixes, one by Tarwater and one by Couch's Michael Heilrath) move from chunky funky thick rock and roll to spacious, almost austere instrumental bliss-outs. 2000's Rock lives up to its name in a big way, favoring relentless guitars, snarling bass, and sneering vocals over dreamy soundscapes. This time around, Surrogat broadens its references even more, incorporating hints of surf guitar, D.C. soul, and New Wave noodling into songs like "Rocker," which features short, powerful blasts of organ along with the chugging bass and guitar. Whether they are delineating new aggressions or delicately shading in dreamy landscapes, Surrogat maintains an audacity and enthusiasm that can be understood in any language. Are you ready to listen?

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