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Deus – Instant Street (1999)

Jacques Brel, Front 242, Soulwax, Gotye (!) and these guys…Belgium’s contribution to pop music culture has been somewhat muted over the years

But it’s really a crying shame that bands like Belgium’s avant-rockers Deus have and probably never will receive the commercial attention some of their work deserves. Sure, the group have received many critical kudos ever since their 1994 début Worst Case Scenario and they have built up a cult following throughout Europe over a near twenty-year career but have never had what you would call a mainstream hit song or album wise. Not that it’s so important today. Theoretically Bands with a medium-sized following who don’t and have never quite fit into radio and genre formatting can nurture said fan base in other ways that can sustain them financially and thus creatively.

Throughout their seven studio albums to date, the Antwerp band somewhat skewed take on alternative rock has produced some unique and memorably catchy songs that often hard to describe as conventional. ‘Instant Street’, a single release from their most successful record to date 1999’s The Ideal Crash is an example of this. It’s a sunny, upbeat creation to start; a naggingly catchy banjo riff is the spine of the track with Barman‘s soft toned, almost reassuring voice spouting lyrics that are both obtuse and slightly cryptic leading to a dreamy quasi psychedelic chorus before the song literally breaks down and stops; a key change then turns into an exhilarating, slow building guitar crescendo which unleashes the disturbed, submerged anger swimming underneath.