Band – Reiziger
Album – Kodiak Station
Label – Birch & Broom
A wise man who makes a podcast about emo recently stated that ‘No band ever splits up’ but bands reuniting and reforming has been quite divisive amongst fans. Some view it cynically as a money grabbing nostalgia trip whilst others are happy to relive their past with them or hadn’t seen them first time round so are overjoyed to get the chance to see them play. For me it really depends on who the band is, when I heard that Reiziger were back playing again and working on a new record I felt a surge of genuine excitement.
In my opinion Reiziger are one of the defining bands of the late 90’s/early 00’s, if I catch a glimpse of any of their album covers I’m instantly transported back to hanging out in a friend’s bedroom as a teenager in the 90’s discovering new music, reading fanzines and shouting ‘I MISS MY RECORDS!’, (little Reiziger joke there for you). I never got to see them play live and may not get to this time around but they have done the right thing and made a new record so I get to be a part of it again by sitting in my house with Reiziger on my headphones once more.
‘Kodiak Station’ is either an album, a mini album or a long EP, to be honest I’m not quite sure what category it falls under. Basically it has 7 tracks but one of those is a spoken introduction, so really it is 6 songs although it does have the feel of a proper full length record. It’s been at least a decade since the last Reiziger record so things are bound to change and one of the things that strikes you at the start of the first song ‘Yuma’ is the production of the record sounds a lot different. There is more of a polish to the sound whilst at the same time retaining the old Reiziger charm. It’s hard to define, maybe you could say that this is more of a grown up record with a mature sound but it is still Reiziger, they still sound like a 90’s band but one with todays production values. It’s not quite what I was expecting but don’t get me wrong, this is a brilliant record.
‘Yuma’ kicks the music off with distorted, discordant guitars at a slow, slacker indie pace with sweet vocals languidly drifting over the music. When the bass kicks in as the song veers in to the second section, I won’t say chorus but I suppose that’s what it is, you are on board and interested. The second track ‘Grizzly People’ then turns this on its head and takes you in a different direction altogether. I didn’t think I would ever write this but it really reminds me of fellow Belgian heroes Deus, I hope that is taken as the compliment that it is. It’s a big, catchy indie pop song which sounds more 90’s than anything else on the album, it has a feel good vibe but the lyrics counteract that by protesting the fact that it’s ‘All about the contacts’. ‘Transgressions’ then kind of continues in this vein although there is a looser feel to the song, it brings to mind the amazing Smart Went Crazy which is definitely a massive compliment. Reiziger return to more familiar ground with the second half of the record, things are a bit bleaker and less poppy. There is no drop in quality however, in fact I’d say my two favourite songs are kept for last both ‘Bended Trees’ and ‘Shy Reptile’ are beautiful songs that build up, each in their own way, to steal the record.
At the end you’re left wanting more certainly but at the same time content with what you’re left with, this is a record that gets better and better on each listen. It’s also a record I can whole heartedly recommend to old Reiziger fans and those that never had the pleasure the first time round. Hopefully they will make the short trip over to the UK at some point so I can say thanks in person. Thanks for coming back Reiziger and thanks for making it so good.
You can download ‘Kodiak Station’ as well as their entire back catalogue from Reiziger’s Bandcamp page HERE
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