Dir Heuwels Fantasties: Wilder as die Wildtuin (Supra Familias)
Die Heuwels’s second full-length offering is a marked improvement on 2009’s eponymous debut — well, if you like your electronica leavened with a little more pop and a lot more melody.
There are some beautifully crafted songs, especially the emotive Verlore Stilte, which manages to be simultaneously sad and encouraging. There are also a few flat spots on the album, songs that seem a little incomplete when measured against the highlights. The Inge Beckmann colab Modus Operandi is particularly unsatisfying, sacrificing energy to portentousness.
But when Die Heuwels hit an old-fashioned vein, such as the Coenie de Villiers’s colab, Wonder bo Wonder, they seem to achieve a sound that satisfies their electro-pop ambitions as well as their songwriting skills. In a short review you don’t normally want to waste time talking about the CD packaging but the fold-out glam Kruger Park gates that let you into the Heuwels’s menagerie is damn cool and indicative of the band’s attention to the details that make good bands very good.
Wilder as die Wildtuin is really a work of art and a good way to make sure that your fans need to own you in hardcopy as well as digitally.