Review: Dead Neanderthals – Worship The Sun

Dead Neanderthals - Worship The SunWorship The Sun is an agonising exercise in cathartic chastity. The duo never reach the eruption they so evidently crave. Saxophone and drums writhe upon the brink of bursting, thrashing and shuddering like bodies in nightmarish sleep fits, daring eachother to press harder against the ceiling without breaking it. Otto Kokke makes his instrument whinge with weakness and feral desperation – a creature starved and wailing for sustenance – while the rhythms of René Aquarius almost mimic the sound of someone saying “and then, and then, and then…”, constantly clawing at the imminent future and the answers that might lie within it. The record is particularly potent for coming in the wake of last year’s Prime, which was essentially 40 minutes of continuous explosion. Like a volcano rumbling out of dormancy, Dead Neanderthals tease the possibility that the whole thing could quite easily detonate all over again.

The momentum of the music is a beautiful thing. Part inexorable tumble, part uncomfortable lurch. There’s a resistance and friction to the forward motion; enough to excite the sound to greater intensities but not enough to slow it down or burst it. Sometimes, Kokke’s sax sounds like a small child clinging to the back of Aquarius’ rabid percussive boar, screaming as the drums buck and jolt in an attempt to throw him off. Where the 19 minutes of “Worship” sustain this improvisatory rodeo for the entire duration, the 18 minutes of “The Sun” toy with sections of faux-dormancy – reducing the jam to a tempered simmer of ride cymbal and flute-esque high saxophone tones – before launching me into the perverse fervour of final few minutes, screaming once more for purgative release. Any moment now.