FLY UP IN THE FACE OF LIFE (CD)
Cor Gout: vocals
Lukas Simonis: guitar, backing vocals
Frank van der Bos: keyboards, samples, accordion, backing vocals
Colin McClure: bass
Cor Hoogerdijk: drums, percussion, backing vocals
Marcel Aartsen: trombone
Peter Haex: trombone
Frans Friederich: trumpet
Luc houtkamp: samples
Dolf Planteijt: effects, guitar
Produced and mixed by Dolf Planteijt, Koeienverhuurbedrijf.
Layout by Klarsich, Reinhold Knieps.
Art-work by Ada Fesevur.
Reviews in English: 8 Chroniques en français : 3___________________________________________________________________________
AMF – music news letter, 1996:
Title : FLY UP IN THE FACE OF LIFE
INTERPRET : TRESPASSERS W
Distribution : ORKHESTRA INTERNATIONAL
ORDER-NR: amf 1045
FORMAT : CD
« EYES ARE BLIND, BUT YOUR
HEART CAN FIND STARS IN THE SKY SMILING »
Trespassers W’s new song-cycle is about flying down through time and space. If concepts and theories about the real world don’t make sense anymore, perhaps dreams and fantasies and conceptions of the virtual reality do. Trespassers W’s new lyrics are about flying up and flinging down, sweet dreams and nightmares, freedom and restraint, will to live and death wish, hope and despair… they are about flying down in the face of life.
Trespassers W’s new music, performed by Lukas Simonis (guitar), Frank van der Bos (Keyboards, accordion), Colin McClure (bass), Cor Hoogerdijk (drums) and Cor Gout (vocals), on this occasion accompanied by Frans Friederich (trumpet), Peter Haex and Marcrel Aartsen (trombone), and Luc Houtcamp (saxophone) and recorded by Dolf is about flying through musical styles and atmospheres and remarking a new course in the end.
From 1984 onwards Trespassers W had produced 6 LP’s, 1MLP, 5EP’s, 2 cassettes and several split-EP’s and contributions to compilations. « Fly up… » will be the band’s first CD-release. Cor Gout started Trespassers W in 1984 as a duo with Wim Oudijk. In 1986 Lukas Simonis and Frank vander Bos joined Cor Gout to form an electric band. Colin McClure and Cor Hoogerdijk became members in 1995. from the moment of the foundation Trespassers W has always been a strong independent force in the world of rock, working together with artists of various disciplines and helping to organize a no-commercial music and arts scene.
ALTERNATIVE PRESS, USA, 1996
By MICHAEL C. MAHAN:
Trespassers W – Fly Up in the Face of Life (AMF Music, Vaalser strasse 94, 52074 Aachen, Germany/also ND Music, POB 4144, Austin, TX 78465, USA)
Named after the words on the broken sign that stood outside little Piglet’s house in the Winnie the Pooh stories, Trespassers W have been the Netherlands best musical export during the entire of the nineties, yet exept for a small but loyal following, they remain virtually unknown in the international community, and certainly unrecognised at home. This the first record they have managed to put on CD, but a least four works on vinyl preceeding it.
The band is a rather strange outfit, blending elements of French cabaret with off-the-wall jazz and the softer elements of the seventies Canterbury sound (which included bands such as Caravan, Camel, and National Health). Their songs are built around the often whimsical lyrics of Cor Gout (but a word to the wise – look beyond the whimsy and you’ll often be surprised at the depth of his humor), with instrumental supplementation aptly provided by guitarist Lukas Simonis, keayboardist Frank van der Bos, drummer Cor Hoogerdijk, and bassist Colin McLure, as well as a bevy of brass and winds. « Come Fling down with me » certainly shows the band’s predilection for convoluted arrangements within a rock string, a neojazz work combining elements of Frank Zappa and Jacques Brel (both of whom stand out as very strong influences throughout), with Gout telling us about the lonely and desperate facades that fill a popular Saturday night spot. « The Lost Souls », a sad tale of a highly dysfunctional family, is a juxtaposition of soft psychedelia and Canterbury styles injected with occasional spurts of punkoid energy. « Toads are Trippy » tells of a dog who takes of on a psychedelic excursion courtesy of eating amphibian roadkill, replete with musical styles rampage frantically from avant-rock to country/western to disjointed triple-fusion punk.
The album’s best moments come on « Saint-Ex » and « The Circus ». The first piece, all about a child-like aviator caught up in World War II, is sung lustfully as if we are sitting around the friendly tables of a neihborhood pub. Gout comes across as a nasal Everyman, with the music providing a quirky Canterbury punk waltz. « The Circus » is clearly a tip of the hat to Federico Fellini (they mentioned him by name). however, in this vague waltz, Brel is drunkenly careening his way, not to the ring, but rather in front of the circle of seats set up to view this small travelling European circus, amusing the children while annoying their parents, tripping over the beleagured concessionaires.
This is a record and a band worth seeking out. Hopefully more people will be able to find out about them, and give them the recognition they’re due). (5 stars)
33 REBELLIONS PER MINUTE, web catalogue, 1996
« Standing on the balcony of Grand Hotel Russischer Hof »
By BOKONIN : © 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org (en caché)
Trespassers W, FLY UP IN THE FACE OF LIFE
Although Wayside Music usually specializies in absurdly overcomplicated music – and although I find that a key virtue of theirs – occasionally they also serve those who perform modest oddities from the sidelines of a field you’d need a compass, time, and luck to find yourself. Trespassers W started out with real connections to rock, and no connections to wayside, but by 1996 their latest, FLY UP IN THE FACE OF LIFE, was ready for the catalogue: they’d settled on a jazz/cabaret base from which items like electric guitar were welcome, very much so, but used neither to rock nor to roll but to lunge spastically, or to curl up and make weird noises till the neighbors rush in concernedly. But the overall ambiance is expansively friendly and if the songs aren’t exactly tuneful in the Brill Building Da-Doo-Ron-Ron sense, they so send plenty of notes wandering happily among the more gravely, unmanicured paths of the familiar ol’ chromatic scale. So the sound is distinctive and intriguing. But the true magic comes from the lyrics, which seem written in blithe unawareness of what songs are and aren’t supposed to be about, or what syllable-to-word ratios are acceptable. The fist track « Kite in Weimar » (which sounds like a lost piece of Carla Bley’s avant-jazz opera ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL), sets the tone by earnestly presenting, and explaining, a complex analogy between 1922 and 1992 German politics. Other songs are often celebrations: of the daring impudence of the 17th century female painter Artemesia Gentileschi; of the photographer who filmed the Wright Brothers’ historic first flight; of a 60-ffot-high statue of an angel in Northeast England; of a band member’s late uncle; of how rock and roll will never die, although « The Day When The Stones Raided Scheveningen » is the only example of that genre I’ve seen reading like a Sunday feature article. Other songs tell stories or fables, or pray to Harry Houdini for generational guidance, or do carefully shaded portraits of domestic situations that most lyricists would summarize in 2 quick judgmental verses and a yowl. « Come Fling down with me » is even a boy/girl song, and a quite good one; my point is not that Trespassers W lack normal passions, but that they supplement with mental warehouses full of abstruse passions, presented with such unabashed giddy love as to be a gateway into an alien world, one which gets clearer and more colorful TV reception of our world than we do. I would want to live there, but a 55-minute visit is not to be sneered at, and if we observe thoughtfully enough while we’re there, maybe we can bring back some well-chosen souvenirs.
MAGIC # 12, France, 1996
par PHILIPPE JUGÉ :
TRESPASSERS W, Fly Up In The Face Of Life (AMF import)
Peu connu en France, Trespassers W présente pourtant un CV impressionnant. Formé en 1984, le groupe hollandais compte déjà une dizaine d’albums, sans parler des innombrables enregistrements éparpillés sur une foultitude de lables, 45 tours, cassettes, split-singles ou maxis. Fly Up In The Face Of Life doit être considéré comme leur huitième véritable album et nous parvient peu après que le label cassette parisien A Contresens ait sorti The Potemkine Sessions, l’année passée [cette K7 n’est plus disponible]. Ce disque paraît être une bonne introduction au monde baroque de Cor Gout, seul membre permanent de ce collectif étonnant. Si musicalement, Trespassers W s’inscrit dans une tradition typiquement populaire et flamande, façon cabaret, le groupe n’a pas son pareil pour mettre en musique les destins, qu’ils soient étonnants – Houdini, Artemesia Gentileschi, John Daniels Pressed The Bulb -, mythiques – Ikarus – ou plus prosaïquement ordinaires – Toads are Trippy, Uncle’s John’s Ascension ou Oom’s Jan’s Hemelvaart. C’est ainsi que l’on croise également Federico Fellini, les frères Wright ou The Rolling Stones, le tout dans un format pop et décalé, qui laisse la part belle aux cuivres, accordéon ou piano. Rock, les hollandais de Trespassers W s’apparenteraient certainement à Deux, pop, ils auraient concurrencé Band Of Holly Joy, plus expérimentaux, on auraient volontiers rapprochés du Complot Bronswick première période mais inclassables, leur monde n’appartient qu’à vous.
FACELIFT, issue seventeen, USA, 1996
by SIMON KERRY:
TRESPASSERS W, Fly Up In The Face of Life (AMF 1045)
My first impression upon hearing Dutch band Trespassers W was that of pleasant surprise as this CD held my interest right from the start, something that doesn’t happen when reviewing for And Beyond…
The album was recorded in 1995, containing 16 songs drawn from some pretty obscure resources for their inspiration. Be it a 17th Century Italian female artist, or the man that took the photo of the Wright brothers inaugural flight, or when the Stones played the fishing village of Scheveningen in 1964, or even the psychedelic effects of eating certain dead toads; it all makes for interesting stuff indeed.
Obviously, with subjects such as these, the lyrics can get a little complicated at times, but generally they are made to fit where they’re supposed to be and even rhyme when necessary. And, considering that English is not their first language, I would suggest that this is no mean achievement. It certainly makes a change from bland love songs!
Musically it is an interesting blend of post Punk rhythms with generous helpings of brass with many of the songs exploring several musical themes which can change from, say, an atmospheric trumpet solo to a black cacophony of noise in the blink of an eye. And just as you think it’s all too much, they throw in some foot stomping, head banging rock with such accomplished guitar work it could dislodge the wax of even the most unforgiving ears.
There is a passing resemblance to the Wizards of Twiddy here, probably due more to the instruments used than to musical compositions. There is not the same smoothness in the music nor do they have the humorist outlook in their lyrics but they do have their moments. « When The Stones Raided Scheveningen » the verses are sung to a hybrid version of Not Fade Away. But in truth comparisons are useless because this is very much an original offering from a extremely talented and exciting band and attempting to pigean-hole them along with bands that have gone before them would be both misleading unfair.
Yes, a couple of the tracks here don’t work and tend to disappear into their own self-induced obscurity but the majority work very well and I can imagine this band having quite a dedicated following back home in Holland, especially if they can get it together when playing live. All in all, an excellent offering.
AQUAMARINE, issue nine ; Bliss 033 cassette, England:
TRESPASSERS W, Fly Up In The Face of Life (AMF Music)
This is different to their split tape with The Conspiracy (On Maljugin Musik), this is far less minimal. Generally the music is progressive rock meets punk meets psychedelia meets experimentation, I can also sometimes hear hints of the sort of music played by The Chrysanthemums during their more bizarre moments (Art-rock? Art-pop?). As well as the usual instrumentation (guitar, keyboards, bass, drums), there’s also trombone, trumpet, saxophone and accordion. Most tracks have singing, but there are a few with a narrative style vocals. In the spoken word tracks, the vocals are incorporated into the song, it doesn’t come across like a story with background music. Most tracks have English lyrics but there’s a couple in German and one in Dutch. The lyrics are in-depth and detailed, many are about historical figures or events but there are others which create an atmosphere of dark fairytales, suck as Toads are Trippy, which tells of an ill-fated toad names Joe. You may think this is an incredibly stupid topic to write a song about, but the song is actually quite sinister, and deeply ironic. Although the band’s name is taken from Winnie-The-Pooh, and some of the lyrics are what you may expect to find in a children’s story, the sound is far from twee – even more irony. My very favourite track is the extremely catchy Saint-Ex, from which the title of this album is taken. This CD is distributed in the UK by Cargo.. ;
BLISS 033 is another compilation tape, Shimmering Opals. You get indie-pop of various types from The Waiting List, The Conspiracy, Dream Baby Dream, Moon Soap, Bloke and Girliegerm, plus hard rock from Mugwump, and quite-hard-to-describe music from Trespassers W – « psychedelic », « progressive », « art rock » or « art pop » (or a mixture of all those) would be somewhere near, I guess.
AUTOweb, by IAN C. STEWART:
TRESPASSERS W, FLY UP IN THE FACE OF LIFE
This is like seen a foreign film by a director whose name you’ve heard but whose work you’ve never seen. It’s a weird jumping-in point. I feel like I haven’t done my homework! Quirky rock band with horn section. A Nordic Los Lobos! Art rock in spots. « The Lost Souls » is very epic and grand; very Nick Cave. « Saint-Ex », with its drunken oompath swing and cascading melodic bit is the first thing to take hold. « John Daniels Pressed The Bulb » is a cute little revisionist lyric saying the most noteworthy thing to happen during the Wright Bros’ first flight was that someone – John Daniels – got it on film. Hey! « Toads Are Trippy »! Nordic country and western! Achtung un liebe ji-ha! « The Day The Stones Raided Schevenigen » is a dull Bo Diddley riff with lyrics that go on about the fateful day in August 1964 when the Rolling Stones « played the stately Kurzaal in Scheveningen, » with « excitement bigger than a Cadillac. »
« Artemesia Gentileschi » details the life and work of a 16th century « paintress. » The son has a great chorus: « why should women paint, » later becoming « why should women kill? » « Raven’s End » is made from the same psychic matter used to propel the Sugarcubes to greatness: mildly whacked out rhythms and quirky horn break and unpredictable synth leads. « Oom Jan’s Hemelvaart » has a long horn vamp at the beginning that’s very pleasant. « Angelic Face of North East England Could Be Fatal Distraction » is a short novelty song with dramatic chord changes and spoken text. FLY UP gets better (and easier) with repeted listenings.
REVUE ET CORRIGÉE n°29, France, septembre 1996
par PIERRE DUUR :
TRESPASSERS W « Fly up in the Face of Life » (amf music 1045 Dist. Orkhêstra)
Groupe parallèle à Dull Schicksal, dans la mesure où l’on y retrouve des membres communs. Lukas Simonis et Colin McClure. Musique dense et touffue au son parfois lourd, faite d’un rock naviguant entre les structures rythmiques déjantées, des thèmes peu ou prou pop, mélodiques, des riffs ravageurs du trombone…
OCTOPUS n° 5, France, automne 1996 :
Concernant les Hollandais de Trespassers W (« Fly up in the Face of Life », AMF/Oka) la filiation avec Dog Faced Hermans et The Molecules vient immédiatement à l’esprit : rock dénaturé et détourné, festive trompette par dessus les roulements de batterie doucereuse. Certains passages narratifs évoquent les Plastic People of the Universe d’Egon Shield (goupe tchèque contestataire à la fin des années 60). Le projet n’en reste pas moins dévolu à la chanson rock acide et atonale, une chanson à laquelle l’instrumentation originale apporte une tournure étonnante et variée. Pour ceux qui aimeraient en savoir plus sur la question, « The Potemkin Sessions 1989/1996 » de ce groupe nordique est édité en cassette par le label A Contresens. Un voyage intéressant et évolutif aux frontières d’une folk et d’une pop progressive. On pense notamment à Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 pour le côté étrange et léger.
1000+1 TILT #4, PO Box 31827, Athens 10035, Greece, 1996:
TRESPASSERS W – Fly Up in the Face of Life CD
After many years of DYI releases this is a release for a German label for Trespassers W. Their musical wonderings remain the same: folk music with theatrical influences and a touch of Kurt Weil. Sensible music, excellent lyrics and a mood which reminded me Fellini’s movies. Trespassers W remain one of the most significant political groups of Holland and although sometimes strange, their music is sweet and honest, something’s rather rare…
ORGAN # 50, Tales of Great Neck Glory, USA :
TRESPASSERS W album « Fly Up in The Face Of Life » AMF/Opulence
Trespassers W have that ability to irritate, rather like Pinhead Nation: a pronkoid sound that’s underpinned with a certain wackiness. Pinhead Nation are more abrasive than this; this is slightly Beefheart tish and a little too clever for it’s own good – I guess you’d expect us to love this, it has twists and turns and a lot of different textures, but it crosses that line between a wry smile and that wacky humour… still, the better moments are rather like earlier Sleepy People. Trespassers W, ADM, Postbus 15582, 1001 NB Amsterdam, Holland. Opulence, PO Box 2071, Wilmington NC 28402-2071, USA.