The Belgian quartet Nordmann (guitarist Edmund Lauret, tenor saxophonist Mattias De Craene, bassist Dries Geusens and drummer Elias Devoldere) formed in 2012, and have racked up accolades locally: they won the Belgian Muziekmozaïek Jazz Contest in 2012, and the Storm! Jazz contest in 2013, and were runners-up in Humo’s Rock Rally in 2014. They released a self-titled EP in 2014, and are following it up with their debut album, Alarm!. The songs on Alarm! have an intensity that recalls Peter Brötzmann‘s Full Blast group, minus the blistering speed; these youngsters are more deliberate than that, crawling along at an almost doomy anti-tempo on the opening title track before speeding up into a thick groove for the piece’s second half. The guitars have a desert-blues clang, which matches up well with the long shrieking saxophone tones, and the rhythm section tumbles and clatters, sometimes militaristic, other times metallic. The music may remind older listeners of Euro instrumental rock groups like Gore and Die Haut, with a forceful jazz edge. There’s a lot of blues and a little bit of swing to some of their tunes, and it would be easy to imagine them backing a vocalist like Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, or Lydia Lunch.

Phil Freeman

Stream Alarm! in full below:

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