In our modern age of Rap synths and autotune it can be difficult to find the top seeds among the harvest. What makes masters like Blur, The Good, the Bad & The Queen, Massive Attack and Daft Punk so sought after? Sure they sound good, they look good, the feel good. But above that they got something else. They got what many in the industry call X-Factor.
So what is X-Factor anyway? It’s just something deep within their spirit that breaks the mold when compared to other artists. They stand out in a good way and transfer well into the hearts and minds of music fans all over the world. Where am I going all with this? The Netherlands presents Spycker (Michiel Omtzigt) has much in the way of X-Factor. With their new release, Voted Away, this lad has moved away from the electronic rock pacing of today’s crappy radio thus producing 10 hot new unique tracks that more closely resemble progressive-rock-pop in terms of length and musical form. Just look at the album cover visually as a prelude to what’s to come audibly.
In his own words this is an eclectic mix of psychedelic troubadour songs, soft-strummed ballads and atmospheric soundscapes, with lyrics that paint images of a world looked at with wonder, distress and resignation. With the impressively lead off track “A Ridiculous Mind” this CD keeps it real with tasty rock grooves that decree power which exudes confidence to the masses. 2 more impressive songs are (Leave Me Wary) and (Never Underestimate the Fool) defiantly worth mentioning, while (La Naissance D’un Fleuve) and (Haar Ogen of De Goed Gebruikte Wensvorm) are clearly mleodic standouts. What’s more (Screwdriver Crimes) and (Mean Proportional) offer instrumentally rich sets with pseudo-apocalyptic messages with an impressive vocal front from Omtzigt.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t an overwhelmingly dark CD by any means, because it’s got its fair share of truthful, rough and tumble subject matter. Case in point pieces like (Blind Pig Blues) which will even calm the tormented soul. Voted Away by Spycker really demonstrates a deeper side of music and even a sense of hope evident through a transparent exploration of yearning and feeling negative yet boldly honest about ones self and correlation to the universe and the unknown in general. He reminds me of SONOIO, How to Destroy Angels, and Modwheelmood. All brought to life with hauntingly detailed musical layers, steady rhythmic pulsation and addictive vocal persuasion on their latest CD.
My favorite track is probably (Never Underestimate the Fool) which stand out due to its truthful conviction and amazing lyrics. The mix sounds a bit off kilter and it’s obvious to me his best song is yet to be written based on experience. Despite this on all tracks expect an enticing vocal approach from Omtzigt that’s extremely cognizant to the soul. He has a lot of very, very, very strong potential if he can take it up a notch with his overall writing style and approach.
All things considered, this is a unique and fundamentally sound CD from a unique and fascinating artists from The Netherlands. It’s nice to know within the ranks if millions of independent artists some are capable of delivering something special that sticks true within their own style and artistic expression. All the while touching an occasionally painfully honest collection of beautiful, powerful and uplifting songs.
Score: 7/10 Stars
Purchase Link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/spycker