1998, Music

Shrink (1998) by The Notwist

I don’t know anything about this band but my understanding is that it’s a left turn from previous albums. That’s likely a good thing but, because I’ve never heard those previous albums, I’ve left with just this.

The problem with this record for me is that this band sounds too much like their influences to me. On some songs (especially early on) they sound like a couple of prominent American indie rock bands of the time (one in particular) but with drum machines instead of a live drummer. And then they have a bunch of songs that sound like Tortoise (or an indie rock facsimile thereof). At times they remind a bit of a German Broken Social Scene, with a little less idiosyncrasy and no women singers.

Then there is that problem of most non-English groups that decide to sing in English – the lyrics are not great (and sometimes are actually borderline nonsense). Personally, I’d much rather listen to a band sing in their own language, even though I cannot understand what they are saying.

But these guys have a strong sense of melody. And though I feel as though I can play “spot the influence” rather easily, I can’t really think of another band that decided to make this particular fusion of things in 1998.


All lyrics by Markus Acher. All music by Markus Acher, unless otherwise noted.

  1. “Day 7” – 5:55
  2. “Chemicals” – 5:15
  3. “Another Planet” – 4:30
  4. “Moron” – (music: Micha Acher) – 4:46
  5. “Electric Bear” – 4:28
  6. “No Encores” – (music: Martin Gretschmann) – 4:25
  7. “N. L.” – (music: Micha Acher) – 5:36
  8. “Shrink” – 4:24
  9. “Your Signs” – (music: Micha Acher) – 6:46
  10. “0-4” – (music: Micha Acher) – 2:19
  • Notwist: vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, trumpet, trombone, drums, samples, electronics, vibraphone, etc.
    • Markus Acher: all lyrics
    • Micha Acher: all horn arrangements
    • Martin Messerschmid
    • Martin Gretschmann


  • Johannes Enders – tenor saxophone, concert flute
  • Stefan Schreiber – bass clarinet
  • Bibul – percussion
  • Wolfgang Petters – guitar on “Day 7”
  • Andreas Gerth – RY30 drum machine, theremin
  • Tobias Kuhn – backing vocals on “Day 7”
  • Axel Von Hoyningen-Hüne – cello
  • Stefan Staudt – vibraphone
  • Kristia Schantz – double bass

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