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Raketkanon - RKTKN#2 (Review)

Raketkanon, RKTKN#2

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

BELGIAN four-piece Raketkanon unleash their latest album, RKTKN#2, and succeed in pounding your ear-drums into near submission. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends largely on whether you like your music to be delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer cracking a walnut.

Recorded almost entirely live in Electrical Audio in Chicago over five frantic days with Steve Albini, RKTKN#2 is very loosely part of a historic lineage of bands that the Big Black/Shellac frontman has worked with previously – think Nirvana, Neurosis, Rage Against The Machine, The Jesus Lizard – yet arguably even heavier, sludgier and more abrasive than any of them.

Lyrically, it’s as black hearted as the music suggests it ought to be, with very few pauses for breath.

Hence, even on a more subdued track like Mathilde, the album centre-piece, the song slowly builds from the type of moody, low-key grunge of classic Nirvana into a wailing wall of tortured screaming that lasts for a couple of minutes, before drifting back into its moody grunge. And that’s the standout moment.

Elsewhere, Elisa threatens another moment of calm during its quiet, minute-long build-up. But again there’s a sense of foreboding that quickly gives rise to jagged riffs, droned vocals and an overall sense of menace. You can barely make out the lyrics but you know they’re not going to be happy given the nature of Pieter-Paul Devos’ pained delivery.

RKTKN#2 is therefore an album that’s very difficult to like unless you’re in the most desperately despairing and black of moods. It’s goth, post-rock, sludge, grunge and hardcore – yet mostly a turn off.

Track listing:

  1. Nico Van Der Eeken
  2. Suzanne
  3. Mathilde
  4. Elisa
  5. Ibrahim
  6. Harald
  7. Hanz