Now here's a band that could separate irk from quirk if you tend to keep your sounds squarely traditional.
Surf Punks meets Oingo Boingo meets Zappa, maybe? Commissioned (!) by Belgium's De Wert Brogge, the profoundly-titled Surf, Wind & Desire is a sequence of humorous vignettes focusing on various aspects of beach culture and marine life.
Hardscore's music parallels the lyrical goofiness of principal composer and marimba player Frank Nuyts without sounding avant for avant's sake. The quasi-epic "The Creep From The Deep" is sonic performance art, a comical chronology concerning the biological and social evolution of one Chuck The Fish. "Kite Control" and "Cod" are titled bluntly to cloak their surprises from the casual listener. Speaking of Nuyts, he and saxophonist Frank Debruyne slow-roasted this feast; the text reads like prose yet nearly every song can be blocked out in abba, abab or aabb (the most obvious exception being "Burnin' Off Love), certain wordings resembling the handiwork of arch-hedonist Ty Webb, probably penned while getting toasted in front of his Casiotone.
Synth aficionados' brows may furl at learning that Frank Nuyts and (main keyboardist) Koen Van Overberghe use only a pair of late '80s Korgs workstations — the 01/W and M1 — and a Roland U-220 module, the last of which is not known for any uncharacteristically cool sounds. There's no mistaking those 01/W strings, though. No other types of synths past or present were brought in, thus Hardscore will not be pegged for conformist tendencies anytime soon. And in a band with two principal composers, bassist Maarten Standarts and drummer Jan De Smet play their rears off and come off as the real heroes, inadvertently shucking their second fiddle posturing in the wake of Nuyts' and Debruyne's marimba & sax seasonings. For those who don't pay attention to that sort of business there's quite a bit to like here, like the lead vocals of the gal known simply as Mai, and the very intricate music taking place beneath some poignant text like Unhook your tiny pre-cupped bikini/Sip your martini/Savor your linguini with asparagus/On the beaches of Galapagos.
1. Prelude To Surf, Wind & Desire (3:13)
2. Crab Meets Crab (3:24)
3. Kite Control (7:19)
4. Gale Force Seven (5:52)
5. BSKRZ (14:23)
6. The Creep From The Deep (10:50)
7. Cod (5:26)
8. The Diver And The Shark (4:35)
9. Surf, No Wind & Desire (5:53)
10. Burnin' Off Love (4:57)
Total Time – 65:52