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Make-Overs: Dichotomy

A tenth release packed with variation and ominous substance.

14 Mar 2017 / Opinion, Review / written by Timothy Kohler

Without fail each Make-Overs release guarantees, in its formation, three central components that consist of raw and independent recording, disjointed instances of sonic mayhem, and varying repetitive arrangements akin to the frantic attitude retained in most garage rock noise. “Dichotomy,” as the fiery duo’s tenth full-length effort, presents no deviation from this template, yet as its title suggests, certain contradictions may be expected – and contradictions found.

Within their extensive run as a two-piece, Martinique Pelser and Andreas Schönfeldt have amassed a particular sound, through the combination of grungy guitar lines, high-energy drumming, and off-kilter vocals, that is as recognisably theirs as it is experimental. This feat in itself then ensures that longstanding listeners may know what to expect, although given the duo’s history an element of surprise inevitably also characterises each new release.

“Dichotomy,” in following this practice, offers opposing avenues of sonic activity that separate the first and latter half of the album into both an abrasive and conversely reserved direction. Opener ‘Think Quick’ replicates this motion, initiating an instant fast-paced wave as a mere introduction to the gusts of menacing-like melodies trailing closely thereafter. Title track ‘Dichotomy’ trickles into the listening foreground, accompanied by a catchy hook, and just like that the Make-Overs have arrived. Quick drum rolls are scattered throughout its duration, running alongside the recurring melody as it moves against a swaying groove.

Midway into the track listing this groove returns, replicating itself over the mid-tempo rhythm of the kit as Schönfeldt’s vocals croon over the instrumentation. This extends into an instrumental interlude that drifts ‘Dichotomy’ unexpectedly from a generic garage rock bracket towards a stark psychedelic framing instead. This play upon rhythm translates mesmerisingly, gripping the listening ear through a chanting lick rather than a sudden instance of manic punk rock.

Unsettling and distorted vocals of various kinds seep into each track, complimenting what their individual compositions signal as Make-Overs tread within and around the dichotomies their tenth release proudly calls after. Album closer ‘The Sun, The Sand and The Sea’ solidifies this feature, brooding in its progression as the lyrical phrase, “Do you know what I mean?” remains unanswered.

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Listen to “Dichotomy” below on Bandcamp.