Release Date: 26th May 2017
Label: Dependent Records
Over the years and no matter how different a signature his projects and involvements had, if Frank Spinath decided to be part of something you could be sure you were in for nothing ordinary even before you’ve heard a single note of it. In a way the newest adventure called LIONHEARTS is like travelling along an imaginary timeline, because even though it might not sound like it, some of those songs have got a lot of years on their plate and for one or the other reason remained unused in any of the projects. But there is a right time for everything and sometimes when put into context things reveal a yet unnoticed meaning. For LIONHEARTS, Frank has teamed up with Ben Lukas Boysen which one or the other could know through his works under the HECQ moniker who added sound wizardry and swept the dust off some of those former demos as you will probably recognize very quickly, should you be familiar with his works.
A glacial atmosphere envelopes the instrumental introduction which is ‘Flashback’ which has our gaze set to the past as we travel down memory lane and lastly arrive at ‘The Ardent City’ where two forms of energy collide feeling the attraction to one another yet ultimately they can never be one even though the urge might be overwhelming as some things just are not meant to be. It breaks our hearts, sometimes even tears us apart. In the end we’re moving on, because there has to be another way, another chance….right? Based on a series of clicks and a mournful piano line ‘Gone’ does quite the effective job of tucking you away from the mildly colourful streets of the city to find yourself in an almost empty room. The one exception is a guy staring at a wall of photos of a woman, screaming at it “YOU… killed every reason inside of me / YOU... did you ever listen?” Strong feelings being a residual of what has once been a strong bond that’ll decay until it will never even have existed
It makes you wonder if ‘Gone’ is leaning toward the good or bad and what consequences might come of it after the fact “Gone” has been fully realized by the character. Will he move on or it is going to destroy him in the end? We’ll probably never know. ‘Cloud’ disconnects us from reality for a bit; reality here being in the midst of it instead of watching it from a save position where the outcome of anything has no impact on you. The musical side equally conveys that submerged in waves of ambient that gives it kind of a weightless feeling. It makes you feel like being above all things with that in mind why would a boxer getting their brains bashed in be anything more than a meaningless incident. Why would it concern anyone if a person we don’t even know dies as long as we’re perfectly fine. Says a lot about human beings nowadays.
The instrumental ‘Kite’ drags us way up into a darkening sky full of clouds and as the rain begins to fall it slowly drags us back down to earth despite a heavy wind that’s coming in from the north. At times those ambient pieces generally make me forget the actual music they’re composed of and suck me right into the picture they’re aiming to paint. It supports my need to disconnect from the world for a while because often-times reality is just too cruel to be in it. But cruelty is something that brings me back this time around, the cruelty of man itself and of the individuals labelled as serial killers, particularly a man named Ed Kemper who made a habit of dismembering and raping college coeds he picked up along the road as hitchhikers which poses the question of human motivation on ‘Murder’ and while you’re being fed with that very melody-based approach of the track you realize it just covers up the basement layer of reality. A place not so pleasant to the human mind. It could hold the key to understanding what gas someone take the path to violence if you have the appetite. But maybe those answers are not at all what you had hoped to find.
‘Hint’ represents a shimmering isle of peace meant to put our minds at ease for a while until we venture into ‘Threat’ territory. The song’s erratic nature spawning off its glitch-laden rhythm track forms a counterpoint to the lyrical part which is deliberately kept calm even though it is anything but. Those are the words of someone who’s got his mind set on a specific task already. He’s calm and methodical about what he is going to do. That’s what makes the lyrical delivery that much vicious. ‘To What I Don’t Know’ embraces electronic pop music just enough to make this effort quite a catchy affair, and just like SKINNY PUPPY would probably do it, they rip open the fabric by scattering noise and distortion all over it, just to rough things up a little. Considering the subject matter it tackles ‘No Going Back’ would just be the perfect ending theme. I’m finding myself watching at the sea, my eyes following a ship that will soon be out of my sight.
Its passenger is a part of a life that I can never go back to. My own actions let it come to this and the regret I will carry around with me for the rest of my life… ‘In The Sand’ brings everything to a close. It’s “Where your traces end”. Everything has been said of this point and clarity reigns, lyrically and musically with words surfing on washes of ambience and a taut beat works, so meticulously crafted it’s actually a mystery to me how it doesn’t sound remotely close to clinical.
First of all, if you’re still with me at this point after this long bastard of a text I salute you. Getting back to the topic at hand, I am amazed what has come of this new project. All of the above written should give you a clear idea of what this album is capable of doing. It’s a compelling peace of art and challenges both the mind and the soul and if you even remotely have a soft spot for a more sophisticated type of electronic music, give it a shot. It will be a rewarding experience and something tells me that this was just the beginning.
02. The Ardent City
10. To What I Don't Know
11. No Going Back
12. In The Sand
Frank M. Spinath
Ben Lukas Boysen
http://dependent.de/kuenstler-dependent/lionhearts / https://www.facebook.com/fms.lionhearts
Total: 9.5 / 10