White Wine began as a solo project from Joe Haege (Menomena, 31knots, Tu Fawning, The Dodos), and was simply a place to house ideas that didn’t fit his other bands. That, and a way to pass time on tour with Menomena when he wasn’t driving. After writing and recording 2 albums (‘Chromakey’ on Polyvinyl Records and ‘In Every Way But 1’ on Discolexique records) he made a plan to tour Europe as a way to visit friends. Not being one for having a laptop as his bandmate, he asked his good friend, Fritz Brückner – who during that time was sound man to Menomema – to be his band. WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

Upping sticks and moving to Leipzig, Haege and Brückner built a studio and set about soundtracking a sleep-walk into a dystopian future. Lead single Where’s My Line?’s maudlin bass-line, schizophrenic guitar riffing and fraught vocal delivery offer an immediate glimpse into the disparate minds of White Wine, while Bullet Points Like Swords’ unrelenting claustrophobia opens up into an “I’m a sick and narcissistic sycophant!” refrain that’s hard to ignore. Elsewhere, Sitting On A Bench offers the same wirey guitar lines that’ll no doubt satisfy fans of Haege’s other bands – peppered as they are with unsettlingly spritely keys – and the ominous setting of Plastic Entrance twins a tumbling bassoon line with Haege’s own grizzled vocal and twisted outsider guitar line. Album closer, Relic On Fire, hits a rare moment of musical joy as horns and xylophones jostle for position – albeit it amongst the line “Terribly, terribly, terribly, terribly upset.”

It’s not only on record that this sense of our lives being negatively impacted by technology comes across, as Haege offers; “After a year and a half in Los Angeles prior to moving to Leipzig, I felt like I was almost at ground zero of how inhumane life has become. And yet to relocate to Europe and to take in what striking similarities in behavior was quite shocking. Less empathy, more distraction, no focus, the digital preaching to the choir of social media and the endless ways in which technology digs deeper into our lives.”

White Wine are completed by third member Christian “Kirmes” Kuhr (Zentral Heizung Des Todes). Brückner has integrated his skills as a classically trained bassoon player into the band, while Haege is once again putting his penchant for cheap theatre antics to work with the new stage show, and the endless supply of ability and talent in Kuhr has only begun to show itself in with intense drumming and guitar playing.

The album was written, performed, recorded and mixed by Fritz Brückner and Joe Haege.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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