On this the second album of Belgian dEUS they have apparently decided to expand their diversity in genres.
Some (weird) jazz, some rock and even program music has found it's way to this diverse record,
ranging from the Tom Waits-like 'Theme from the Turnpike', over ingenious pop tune 'Little Arithmetics' and the dronic tense 'Roses'.
The idea of the album seems to be to break rules, not necessarily to please the ear - and to have a lot of fun in the process.
And as you think you have a hold of the album, being a skilled jazz/noise/rock blend, the two tracks 'Supermarket Song' and 'Memory of a Festival' appears as program music likely to be found in the two places.
Jazz inspiration is clear in many tracks and instruments like trumpet and low tuned violins creates a brilliant atmosphere on certain tracks, along with piano and an often dronic bass.
It seems the band wanted to either try out genres or provoke people into wondering whether music really is supposed to sound good? And that is the greatest drawback on this album.
It is very hard to listen to it from end to another, as it changes so much in moods.
It is definitely not background music dEUS came up with, when the wrote 'In a Bar, under The Sea', and the record makes you sit on the edge of your chair on one track, and lean back in relaxation on the next.
And; let's face it, all that moving back and forth on the chair becomes tiresome after some time.
Though the album looks like a mess, the listener will always sense a meaning behind the madness as well as great skill as the different tracks are performed.
This saves the album as a whole and the listener will find him or herself drawn back to the tracks to hear and feel the details.
I suppose this album - especially given its release year - is what defined 'Indie'.
No commercial record label at it's senses would release a record this diverse. And true enough it was released on Island Records, at the time a label that released a lot of non-mainstream music.
I see 'In a Bar, under The Sea' as a peace of art, if I may define art as something that is suppose to make people wonder.
The constant change in genres, however, makes the record hard to give full grades, though it contains two or three tracks that I will call masterpieces!