The debut album, Hier, by sibling duo Bruckner has been a long time in the making. Fair enough it was written and recorded in an intensive two month period in Berlin, but it is the end result of many years of musical experimentation. With the project having started life as Jakob's acoustic surf-pop ditties, the addition of his brother Matti, who had dabbled with metal in his teenage years, into the mix saw the sound expand and grow. With the end result finally ready, Bruckner are here and ready to show what they can do.
It has to first be noted that Hier is a distinctive debut album. It is one that transitions between genres but never loses its sense of identity. This is important. For the high-level craftmanship that is taken to piece together such a vibrant tapestry of diverse sounds and make it sound cohesive is impressive.
Secondly, it must be noted that Hier, while chronologically is a follow-up to the Sprungturm EP, it is sonically in a very different world. While there are fleeting moments of the surf-pop acoustic drive within the walls of Hier, it is sonically far more expansive.
Due to the diverse nature of the record, it is hard to pin-point a sounds like artist. At its most compelling it takes the strongest elements of Sportfreunde Stiller, Echt (circa Recorder), Clueso, Tim Bendzko and The Kooks and pieces them together in their own unique manner.
The Kooks meets Sportfreunde Stiller anthem Lifestyle is easily the albums choice cut. An out and out summer anthem, it is feel good, fun and irresistibly bouncy. Taking the chill out vibe of Clueso's Handgepäck I and marrying it with a Red Hot Chili Pepper joltiness, Ich und deine Freunde comes a very close second. The dreamy Josephine, which channels Jack Johnson, is longingly tender.
While there are clear stand out moments on their debut record, Bruckner have pieced together a stunning full-length introduction to the artists they have grown together into.