You can still make good music without sounding like you could tame a wild beast with a few soft flutters of your vocal chords. Clemens Denk IS proof of this.
The German language isn’t for everyone. Many Austrian/German bands even opt to sing in English to reach a wider audience. For others, like Clemens Denk and his band mate Nino Mandl (Nino aus Wien) the German language is what characterizes their music and their view on making music as a whole. By choosing to sing in German, they have chosen to expose their music to a smaller, more concentrated and perhaps musically more loyal spectrum of people. This loyalty to the local music scene is reflected in the line-up of the band, with well known musicians from the Vienna circuit lending a helping hand for Denk’s first release since 2013’s 7″ single Leider.
Martin Lehr (Luise Pop), Florian Tremmel (Dot Dash) and David Wukitsevits and Nino Ernst Mandl (both Nino aus Wien) have offered their services for the self-titled Clemens Band Denk album which came out on Totally Wired Records at the start of the month.
Play Clemens Denk to ten people on the street and most of them would probably say the same thing….this boy can’t sing. The man himself admits it in the very first song on the album “Aber der Sound ist Gut” – a head-noddingly mischievous bit of music which you will find hard not to like. But so what if he can’t sing?. What defines the perfect singing voice and what doesn’t? You can still make good music without sounding like you could tame a wild beast with a few soft flutters of your vocal chords. Clemens Denk is proof of this.
His ironic, arrogant, self and world critical lyrics find themselves in a continuous conflict with the generally poppy and good natured melodies of the music. The result is a cacophony of sounds, opinions, counter-opinions and observations that will leave you with a number of questions which can only be answered upon multiple listens, and listen to this album again and again you most certainly will.
This isn’t the kind of music that you would play on a Sunday afternoon while having your parents-in-law over for some afternoon Punschkrapfen, but that is a good thing. If bands didn’t dare to make music of the more ambiguous kind, like Clemens Band Denk do, then there wouldn’t be much music worth listening to. For this Mr. Denk, we take our hat off to you.