This band gave me an idea recently, although that could potentially go the wrong way depending on political correctness. A game you could play is, given a country, you have to establish what music that country would sound like. Some are easy, Brazil, India and Mexico for instance have sounds they live and breath because they are originators of that style. Some countries, perhaps not quite on the map you would struggle with. San Marino may just be the sound of shrugging shoulders or clapping politely. A country very much established however that could be perceived as difficult to identify could be the Netherlands, but thankfully Timo Ellis and his two partners in crime hailing from New York City may put that debate to an end. Dragging around a longsword sharpened by staggering amounts of fuzz, moods are constantly intense, much like a serial killer in the dark of night, either on the prowl or attacking depending on the pace. Whilst you can assume there is a unchanging danger in their music, how exactly to describe it is somewhat misleading. They are pseudo-sludge in guitar tone that sometimes reaches noise rock levels of distortion, but sing with a classical rock band showmanship, with pacing that can reach punk speeds. Tabitha from 2013’s Silicon Vapor being an example of those speeds, comparable to weaponised destruction derby and you’re behind the wheel, whilst what could be deciphered as free-form poetry or phrases pulled from a hat are yelled from atop a mountain. The thing that strikes me about vocalist Timo Ellis is how soulful his delivery can be at times, which edges them out against so many other heavy pretenders. So, that debate hasn’t actually been resolved as Netherlands are every much a square peg in a round hole, which just about fits if you jam it hard enough. Or maybe that is the point. Brimming with styles and sensibilities that keep them a very much original experience, Netherlands are an odd breed to classify, but they produce a sound that is equal parts threatening as it is to endearing and exciting. In the context of the musical country game, that answer is good enough for me.

Silicon Vapor and 2012’s Fantasmatic can be purchased from their Bandcamp page for a small fee. or from Netherlands’ website in CD, vinyl or digital format, along with several t-shirts and the such too.

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