Lets just call it: rock. Not post-rock. Nothing that’s somehow ironically twisted or distorted by over thinking. Ira ties into a time when rock used to be serious and connected to deep existential feelings. It’s simply a matter of dignity. This band intends to overwhelm. Their long and epic tracks force the listener to lose himself, to get carried along, torn between the fear of losing control and the pleasant feeling of losing ground.
But Ira aren’t virtuous posers. They don’t imitate the pompous rock-spectacle of the early seventies. Their use of effects and emotions is precisely calculated, their wall of sound never coagulates in pathos. The songs are distinguished by atmospheric density instead of fingerboard acrobatics. The great thing about their songs is that they are not overloaded; instead the arrangements leave space for unlimited associations. Ira succeed in uniting the Mogwai-esque floating post-rock-sound with classic rock songs. But it’s not the straight-forward, demanding kind of rock anymore that makes you clench your fist – these epic and blazing tracks are riddled with melancholy, doubt, fragility. And yet, in their songs dealing with lack of communication and helplessness, you can also find references to some great moments of rock history. Ira express the anxiety in us all and they consciously pile it on, so that it sticks.
The roots of the band from Konstanz, formed in 2003, can be found in Hardcore and Punk. Their debut-album »The Body And The Soil« (2005) was released on the »Go Kart«-label from New York. On »Visions Of A Landscape« Ira finally developed their own unique voluminous sound and found a new home with Golden Antenna Records.
Instrumental tracking took place at Blackmails own “Tonstudio 45” near Koblenz with the helping hands of producer Tobias Levin (e.g. Tocotronic, Faust, Kante). Chris von Rautenkrantz (Soundgarden Studios, Hamburg) did a fine job in regard of the mastering. In a very intense collaboration with producer Tobias Levin, Toby Hoffmann refinded his particular vocal-style – passionate, disturbing but not exalted.
As a musician, the award-winning writer, Spoken-Word-Artist and Poetry Slammer is also capable of combining complex lyrics with an adequate sound: at the gateway of dream and reality, poetry and anger, Hoffmann succeeds in connecting the big Rock-gesture with the laconical disillusionment of Post-Punk.
Black Sabbath meets Ian Curtis – worlds implode. (Text: Martin Büsser)