Echoes of Can's continental cosmische music, The The's unvented aggression and John Barry's cinema soundtracks slug it out from Vantage Point's opening track. As the band lead you through a confusing labyrinth of their own creation, vocals switch disconcertingly from track to track between a confessional whisper and a 'crazy man on the street corner' rant. It's a lyrically rich, take-no-prisoners album, one that will divide new listeners between those enraptured by the recherché beauty of dEUS in full flight and those who'll run screaming from the room.
Though still far from easy to digest, this is easily the band's most accessible work in years, boasting shades of R.E.M. even in some of the lustier guitar work, with Eternal Woman, the first single taken from the album, a deceptively simple sounding love song that even includes some gentle female backing vocals and a straight-faced ''oooh oooh'' refrain. That single, out of character swerve straight into the path of modern Americana apart, Vantage Point is a fairly conventional rock album, albeit one that takes its cues from the mighty Captain Beefheart, Pixies and Velvet Underground.
This is possibly the album that will take dEUS out of the leftfield and plant them in the mainstream, where they'll set a standard other bands will have to struggle to match. Vantage Point offers more than their recent over-serious, grunge-lite product: with its unexpected changes of pace, unnoticed slips from riff to groove and unfathomable lyrics. This might even be the thin edge of the wedge that heralds the return of prog rock. --Al Spicer
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window