Rood Woof is a label from a guy whose enthusiasm and hair are almost as great as his name: Lafayette Vanderkin-Jus. Lafayette is an inclusive, good-natured dude in Berlin who brings warmth and energy to the city’s young DIY scene. He created Rood Woof last year to release Balagan’s first EP, A Mess, and since then we’ve seen a steady stream of top-notch local shows and releases. The latest release is a split EP titled Cape Carnage and features eight tasty tracks from Berlin local garage heroes, Father Midnight and RYL. Catch them at Kantine am Berghain on Friday July 20th and snag a copy. Be there or be an undesirable shape.
I know that frontman Phillip is good at at least two things: he makes awesome analog collages/graphic designs from old 70’s school textbooks and he can whale on the guitar. Groovy, bouncy bass lines and punchy, powerful drums create an atmosphere in which epic guitar riffs grow and flourish, creating a trippy, innovative-yet-classic psychedelic landscape. The moment you’ve developed a taste for the catchy melody, an attention-grabbing, fuzzy solo steps in to keep things fresh.
This all neglects to mention what I consider the centerpiece of Father Midnight’s sound: the vocals. I’m drawn to the singing in that it is both incredibly high-pitched and on pitch. This crooning voice is unique and sets their sound apart in the garage genre. I guess I misspoke… now we know Phillip is good at at least three things.
Favorite track: Doubt in the New
RYL (RADICAL YOUTH LEAGUE)
Always sarcastic, quippy and, by all means, fun, RYL (pronounced /rüll/ for those of you who said it wrong like me for months) feels more carefree and blasé
than their counterpart, but the stories they tell beg to differ. In the last track ‘Damn It’ Jannis sings, “Yeah you, You think you’re funny, but you’re not. You think you’re wise, when you talk. All of the things you say just don’t make any sense.” I interpret this as a critique of the status quo in regards to the monotonous small-talk conversations we put ourselves through everyday.
The music itself is catchy and punky. The light-hearted mood makes you want to move and sing along to the songs you know. Thomi slaps some serious bass and has enough hair and enthusiasm to fill the room and Hannes’ drumming hits like unwavering freight train, both powerful and consistent. RYL opened up a few months ago for Franky & the Witch Fingers at Quasimodo and always puts on a great show.
Favorite track: CK Rogers
In short, don’t miss this show. Follow these two bands and support Rood Woof in their releases and concerts in the future and you won’t be disappointed.
Christopher Lewis has roots in the woodsy, cornfield-filled, and conservative Indiana. In Groningen, the Netherlands, he fell in love and started a bookings and management business, COK Bookings, with his now wife, Annalie. He’s rather fond of psychedelic rock and fried chicken.