In a way it is hard not to be fond of this band. Even if you didn’t like their music they would still earn a highscore on the “being on the right side” scale. In so far I consider it a nice bonus that the music is so good as well.
It is an often forgotten truth that the d.i.y. idea is nothing limited to punk alone. Labels like K Records or Dischord have started early to use the art of d.i.y. for a far broader range of music and even today there is still some indie that is really independent in more than just an anti-corporate or purely economical way and I think this is fucking awesome!
But why do I tell you this? Because I am a fan of putting things into contexts and the context that I see Culm in is exactly the one mentioned above. Musically the band is situated somewhere in the pretty wide range of indie rock merging with posthardcore. DC is one big vanishing point of what they are doing. Do It Yourself is the other one. All their full releases so far were put out by themselves and the new one is again although put out by Hamburg-based simpatico label miyagi recorded in their own studio and by themselves. The album comes (like the last Antitainment…) as lp+cd joint release with a lyrics sheet and a silkscreened patch. The patch shows two hands grabbing the bars of the very cage shown on the album cover. This is what I was talking about when I spoke of being independent in a more than just economical way. If they were a crust band everyone would expect a gesture like this. It is part of the crust image but this is a band that was raved about in mags like Visions and that’s a totally different thing. Staying critical and being political in a way (and d.i.y. is political!) is not or no longer a self-evident part of indie music. It is a real statement and way is continued in the lyrics. No sloganeering but a constant subtext of “something is totally wrong here”. No simple answers but a lot of question marks between the lines and also in the lines of about one third of the songs.
The singer is the brother of someone in AM Thawn, however his voice reminds me more of Thomas Lang of The Robocop Kraus. The music is less jamming than the former band’s and less pop than the latter one’s. The band I have to think of the most is A Day In Black And White and again we have DC… Repetitive guitar patterns, a warm bass and a very varied and un-uffta drumming. The only point of criticism might be that the sound is a little dull when the record is played at low or medium volume but can I really praise d.i.y like I did above and than mourn about trifles like this? No I can’t… Good one!