Nosferatu D2 - We’re Gonna Walk Around this City With our Headphones on to Block Out the Noise

Tim Miller 05/12/2009

Rating: 3.5/5

It is often philosophically quipped that the star that burns brightest burns fastest, and it is certainly pertinent to this release through Audio Antihero, a deserved retrospective physical release of Nosferatu D2's debut, and only, album. The label was in fact formed for the original purpose of bringing this jarring LP to the light of day, a commendable ideal that earns Audio Antihero the tongue in cheek by-line: “Specialists in commercial suicide”.

Ill-advised or not, Nosferatu D2 are a two-piece whose live shows fizzing with energy, vitriol and lyrical brilliance from wordsmith Ben Parker earned them a fierce reputation worth documenting, and their sound transfers well to record. Hell bent on capturing the natural feel of their racket, Nosferatu D2 clatter awkwardly across a bare set up of drums and guitar, no frills or cheap tricks. The duo's scattergun songwriting poses fluid time signatures and ringing, desperate guitar playing, much like a sparser version of the also defunct Meet Me in St. Louis. It's punk in a true sense, scratchy, raw and belligerent; utterly fitting to the Nosferatu D2 antihero ethos.

But the music has mainly played second fiddle to the sharp tongue lashings Ben Parker delivers. His caustic gloom unravels like a Topman cardigan on a barbed wire fence: bright promise disintegrating into ugly reality, on everything from faded and false love - ”It's not easy being stuck with someone you don't care about” - to hating your suffocating hometown: It's just a forest of KFCs, Starbucks and Maccy Ds. The latter lyric stems from one of the album's finest moments, 'Springsteen', where Parker's anguished, primal cries as the song closes sum up the despair and disillusionment that Nosferatu D2 spent their fleeting two years turning into furious songs - ten of which are now realised in the (probably) posthumous release of We're Gonna Walk Around This City with Our Headphone On to Block Out the Noise.

Whether or not the CD lays to rest the still-glowing embers of Nosferatu D2 - Ben Parker now performs as the equally biting Superman Revenge Squad - or fuels chances of a reunion (unlikely according to the label) is besides the point. It is an album that deserves to be released, an album that burned with emotion and spirit, a wave of feeling shared by countless people that enchanted many more at live shows. On record Nosferatu D2 channel that spirit into an uneasy, uncompromising 33 minutes, with a depth and significance that belies their basic set up and short lifespan. Kudos should go to Audio Antihero's firm belief in Ben and Adam Parker, for their only album still resonates today, perhaps more so. Sometimes, it really is better to burn out, than to fade away.