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Listening Room Austria The Base (Band)

Golden Line
Reviewer
English The Base: Norbert Wally, Albrecht Klinger, Karlheinz Miklin jr.
Secret Second Thoughts (CD/iTunes)
Konkord, Vienna 2013
Reviewed by Gerald Ganglbauer | 31 January 2013
English Reviews

Cover: Secret Second ThoughtsOn 19 January I went to a concert at the Postgarage Graz to see several bands I had never heard of before. Not that those bands were unknown to the world, they just went under the radar in my Australian life. However, they had made themselves a name in Austria, and it was then that I discovered The Base, an outfit from my hometown of Graz. They are an alternative or indie rock trio – Norbert Wally (vocals, guitars), born 16 May 1970 in Graz, Albrecht Klinger (vocals, guitars, bass), born 1 February 1965 in Linz, and Karlheinz Miklin jr. (drums, percussion, vocals), born 15 January 1971 in Klagenfurt – with an impressive list of nine published albums. They had formed in 1989, (the same year I moved to Sydney), and had their breakthrough with "Jet Crash Kills" in 1996.

I checked them out. Their website is cool and current, so I sent an e-mail to pre-order Secret Second Thoughts, their tenth album, due to be released in a couple of weeks. Front man Norbert Wally replied within hours on a Sunday morning and I was blown away by the friendly response, and the hand-delivered CD on the night of the concert. Their live performance was very professional, and the crowd had a fantastic time listening and dancing along, even though their gig didn't start until well after midnight as the night's main act. A heightening experience! See some photos.

Now, let's talk about this new album. The lyrics are smart, intelligent, and worth listening to: "It's a safe bet that the sun won't set/ When no one saw it rise today/ The tide runs high against the black of the sky/ And the clouds begin to party big way/ I don't wanna wake up with a mouthful of rain/ But I suppose I got nothing better to say/ The rats don't leave the ship/ The rats don't leave the ship/ The rats won't leave the ship yet" are the first lines of the album, and then we discover another gem, beautifully visualized in the band's promotional video.

The album offers solid rock songs, but the real strength of the unique voice of Norbert Wally shines in slow tunes like this: "I promise I…/ I'll leave some coffee in the fridge for you/ And I can spare a cigarette or two or three/ And leave the lighter on the chair/ How I wish you were here/ But I don't know if I wish you would stay/ If I could bare to see you/ Every night and day/ Or if it's easier to say…/ That I leave a light on for you/ I leave a light on for you/ I leave a light on for you" which is a romantic ballad in itself, sung with a soft and tender voice.

He can shout and yell, whisper in your ears, stroke your skin, for he has the sexiest voice on this side of the world. Norbert Wally's charisma on stage reminded me in some ways of Jim Morrison, or Michael Stipe. The girls melted on the dance floor, their hot faces smiling, even my girlfriend and I were dancing along like other patrons half our age. One of their beautiful ballads asks "(Would I Be) A Good Santa Claus?" and my answer would be for sure: Yes, because "You Turn Me On (Yeah)", which is one of my personal favorites on the album.

I definitely need to get my hands on some of their earlier releases, too.

iTunes Preview
iTunes iTunes (AU) AU https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/secret-second-thoughts/id596139812
iTunes (AT) AT https://itunes.apple.com/at/album/secret-second-thoughts/id596139812
English Reviews
Reviewer
English The Base: Norbert Wally, Albrecht Klinger, Karlheinz Miklin jr.
Tested Under Extreme Conditions (CD/iTunes)
nubabel entertainment, Graz 2011
Reviewed by Gerald Ganglbauer | 2 April 2013
English Reviews

Cover: Tested Under Extreme ConditionsI discovered The Base when I returned to Graz, after a long absence, when the trio already released their album #10. This made me want to listen to their previous recordings. Tested Under Extreme Conditions was released two years earlier, However, at the same time, the band had sent us also their 2010 release, 16 Songs In Self Defense, and I must admit I was very curious about these albums. They offer very dark titles like:

The End Of The World Why does the sun go on shining? Why does the sea rush to shore? Don't they know it's the end of the world 'Cause you don't love me any more? Why do the birds go on singing? Why do the stars glow above? Don't they know it's the end of the world? It ended when I lost your love. I wake up in the morning and I wonder Why ev'rything's the same as it was. I can't understand, no I can't understand How life goes on the way it does Why does my heart go on beating? Why do these eyes of mine cry? Don't they know it's the end of the world? It ended when you said goodbye Don't they know it's the end of the world? It ended when you said goodbye.

The opening tune goes like this (read the lyrics, and watch the tune performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna):

Born In Devil's Motel (Words by Norbert Wally | Music by The Base) What day it was I cannot say Sometime around the middle of May It happened on a midnight cruise to hell My mother she went into labour My dad he couldn't find her a hay barn I was born in devil's motel Born, born, born in devil's motel Born, born, born in devil's motel The midwife she picked up a broom Poked around in my mothers womb And told her that she's doing well And when I saw the light of Day – well it was night but anyway – I knew for sure this must be hell Born, born, born in devil's motel Born, born, born in devil's motel That's why I love to let it burn and Why I got demons in my head That's why I don't like the sound of church bells Cause I was born in devil's motel.

I admit: I just love the music of The Base each and every time I hit the play button. Hopefully I'll be around for their next live gig.

iTunes Preview
iTunes iTunes (AU) AU https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/tested-under-extreme-conditions/id419146140
iTunes (AT) AT https://itunes.apple.com/at/album/tested-under-extreme-conditions/id419146140
English Reviews
Reviewer
English The Base: Norbert Wally, Albrecht Klinger, Karlheinz Miklin jr.
16 Songs In Self Defense (CD/iTunes)
nubabel entertainment, Graz 2010
Reviewed by Gerald Ganglbauer | 2 April 2013
English Reviews

Cover: 16 Songs In Self DefenseAlready out there for three years, yet unknown to me so far, this album holds perhaps my favourite tunes. Not only flows the music cool and smooth, the lyrics are simply mind blowing: Norbert Wally's voice is perfect for slow tunes like She She She or Sugarfree Baby. Kudos for the hilarious 55 Days and 55 Days (Happy End Cut).

55 Days (Words by Norbert Wally | Music by The Base) This song's going to destroy itself in 55 days Today the cigarette machine asked me if I'm 16 So I pulled my card and I stuck it in It spat it right back into my face This song's going to destroy itself in 55 days Then a woman passed by, she pretended to cry She said she needed help cause her brother had just died And her baby needs diapers, baby needs diapers, baby needs diapers So I checked my change to save her life This song's going to destroy itself in 55 This song's going to destroy itself in 55 days But she said she needed 20, I replied my wallet's empty And she left without a word, no, she didn't even thank me And I fell off the sidewalk, fell off the sidewalk, fell off the sidewalk And I hurt my knee, but I still knew it was me I was bleeding like I'd fallen off a family tree Listened to what my mobile says, it said: This song's going to destroy itself in 55 This song's going to destroy itself in 55 This song's going to destroy itself in 55 days And I know I shouldn't worry and I shouldn't be sorry About the parts I play in another person' story What if u hadn't noticed me, what if u hadn't noticed me, what if u hadn't noticed me When I sat there with my broken knee And a moment of intimacy was triggering off some old memory Of a lost love, many moons no play Of a left out chance, many moons no play Of a happy day, many moons no play I set the time code, set the time code, set the time code, set the time code.

Now watch this one: Buffalo People (Words by Norbert Wally | Music by The Base) You don't wanna wait till I come by Cause it might get a little late, but I'll try And u don't wanna dream what I dreamed last night I had two horns on my head and my head was shaking off a fly U don't wanna pull A fight With Buffalo People You won't see white foam steaming out of my nose I snuff it back in, let it tickle up to my eyes It rains down my spine, down into my toes Take your hands down now, safe your fury for a better lie U don't wanna pull A fight With Buffalo People.

Makes me proud to come of the same small town as Norbert Wally. Perhaps creativity stems from the water of the river Mur. Just kidding. Go and see my favourite band from Graz live somewhere. Current dates of their concerts can be found on the official band website, www.the-base.at

English Reviews
Reviewer
English The Base: Norbert Wally, Albrecht Klinger, Karlheinz Miklin jr.
15 for the Jukebox 19962008 (CD/iTunes)
monkey, Vienna 2008
Reviewed by Gerald Ganglbauer | 5 July 2013
English Reviews

Cover: 15 for the JukeboxLast night I saw The Base again, this time in a completely different environment, the "Hör- & See- BÜHNE" of the Austrian Broadcaster, ORF, nicely playing a couple of tunes between readings of poetry and prose. It was interesting to watch the elderly audience, mostly folks who had been coming to listen to a well known poet, yet found themselves in a rock concert, well, almost. I thought they liked it though, as the queue at the CD stand was longer than the one at the bookseller.

Most of the performed songs (like the hit "Not My Dog") can be found on a somewhat "Best Of The Base" album: "15 for the Jukebox 1996–2008". Their record company monkey says: The Base, das ist gefährlicher Stoff für labile Geister. Zerbrechliche Lyrics, zerschrammter Blues, zerschließener Rock’n’Roll, der auf jene Ganglien-Zone abzielt, die seltsam zu pochen beginnt, wenn man an das Vergangene zurückdenkt und feststellen muss, dass man eventuell einst glücklicher war. Punktum. So music has one dimension more than poetry. Listen for yourself, if you're one of those "aufgeschlossene Musik-Connaisseurs" (Bastian Kellhofer). Perhaps you want to hear all your favourite poems sung to you by Norbert Wally.

iTunes Preview
iTunes iTunes (AU) AU https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/15-for-the-jukebox/id280292332?l=en
iTunes (AT) AT https://itunes.apple.com/at/album/15-for-the-jukebox/id280292332?l=de

The Base live im ORF Landesstudio Steiermark, Graz 2013
The Base Live The Base Live The Base Live The Base Live

English Reviews

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