“Nicht raus, aber weiter”
CD, LP, digital
An indie punk band flees to the inside and proves to be a mature unit that doesn’t want more than to invent itself with its second studio album.
Hi! Spencer put the quintessence of the last four years into every second of their new album: playing concerts, releasing singles, convincing every fan from the ground up – simply building something big step by step and writing an album somewhere in between, which deals with fear, inadequacy and failure, making it a strategy to overcome it and wrapping it in partly euphoric, partly carried songs. The band from Osnabrück creates a triad of awakening, resignation and resurrection – I have sworn more beautifully to fail. It doesn’t go out here, but it goes on. The title song describes the inner conflicts that arise when you work so hard on yourself.
“It’s about the monster that’s inside us, about self-sabotage, paralysis, but also about taking courage and getting up again,” says singer Sven Bensmann.
“We know this monster and wanted to measure ourselves against it. To find oneself is a long, arduous, but also enriching process. We realize that this monster is part of it, that you don’t have to defeat it. After 6 years Hi! Spencer, we are not other people, but we have reached a point where we can say: These songs show 100% where we are as a band and where we wanted to go.”
The positive power is shown in such euphoric songs as the opener Weck mich and the first single Wherever you are. A roaring indie explosion that doesn’t let a shirt dry or feet stand still. The songs of the pure indie stigmas refuse to be heard. Hi! Spencer find new catchy niches for every Kettcar and Muff Potter fan and continue where Jupiter Jones once left off. The title track mixes new influences into the band sound. Picture book and Von Wegen Lisbeth greet around the corner, it goes away from everyday hedonism to song-made snapshots – emotional, ecstatic and close. Not out, but further advanced to a hymn-like earwig spiral that digs itself deep into the auditory canals.
“We grew up in the country, but now we see so many new things on tour and get to know so many people. We wanted Hi! Spencer from a new perspective,” sums up co-singer and guitarist Malte Thiede. “In order to achieve this, we rented a lonely house in the forest for the writing process and meticulously took stock. What is Hi! Spencer? Where do we see ourselves with the album? From this came the idea and in a big bang explosion the album title – our red thread. From this the songs literally developed as if they had always been there and just waited for the right moment”.
The result are dense guitar and bass arrangements that lie like a carpet under the voices of Bensmann and Thiede, sometimes quiet and brooding like in Der Küchentisch, sometimes narrative and socio-critical like in Hinter dem Mond, sometimes loud and demanding like in the song Angst ist ein Magnet, which will provide loud calling choirs at some festivals.
With Klippen the probably darkest song of the band history is on the new album. It describes the alienation of two people and musically transmits the crash in infernal intoxication and distortion frequencies. Arrived at the abyss, the already released songs “Schalt mich ab und Richtung Norden wieder aufheben” (Switch Me Off and Towards the North) lift Me up again.
The whole album was recorded at DocMaKlang-Studio Osnabrück with house and farm producer Tobi Schneider, who has been an important companion of the band for years. For the mastering Alex Kloss was engaged, who made a name for himself with his work for Leslie Clio, Blackout Problems, Jennifer Rostock and many more.
Eleven songs need Hi! Spencer to face their fears, stand up to them and reconcile with them. They package the whole thing into an album that oscillates between spherical intensity and dense clarity. It’s indie, it’s punk, it’s rock, it’s catchy and playful. It’s Hi! Spencer.
The intense cover is adorned with veiled demonic grimaces in copper engraving style that seem to have sprung from Dante’s Inferno – a runner among them. Whether she flees or heads for hell remains uncertain.