Obstacles
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Obstacles

Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark | INDIE

Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative

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Signing Obstacles is really a scoop for Play Rec. Their 7” on Red Tape Records last year was a damn fine release of scorching math rock, and Obstacles really backed it up with some energetic live performances.
“Dividual” offers 10 tracks of the same kind that graced the Red Tape 7”; hardhitting complex proggy math rock, this time with a bigger production. All tunes but one are instrumental, Henrik W. Hald (Trust, Rising) sings on “Locomotive”. Which is kinda fitting since Obstacles belong in the same musical ballpark as Trust, although Obstacles got a synth player in the lineup. 40 minutes of math rock could seem like a challenge, but fortunately “Dividual” is pretty varied despite the lack of vocals. The expected masturbatory almost fetish guitar tappings are all over the place, but a track like “Anything Inexplicable” has a freejazz buzz and some wild sax. The impressive “V” possesses an eerie horror flick feel, and others have krautrock-ish Can-esque touches. “Rorschach” is probably my fave cut on the album, which essentially captures what the band is about. A massive thunderous rhythm is fused with some outstanding guitar work and haunting synth. I can perfectly see this Copenhagen 4-piece doing well internationally with this excellent debut album. Young and old prog heads, get “Dividual”, or I will break your glasses! - Lowcut Magazine


Bandnavn og albumtitel er begge velvalgte, når de fire københavnske mathrock-musketerer i Obstacles barsler med debuten 'Dividual'. Deres lyd er, trods den traditionelle guitar/bas/keys/trommer-besætning, en musikalsk forhindringsbane spækket med spastiske temposkift, snirklede melodipassager og regulær troldkunst på instrumenterne. Man skal som lytter være omstillingsparat og fleksibel som kviksølv for at følge med i alle krumspringene, og det er stensikkert en kvalitet, som vil kløve rockpublikummet i to. - Soundvenue.dk


Rockbands uden forsangere er stadig undtagelsen, der bekræfter reglen. Obstacles er vokalløse og stolte af det: "Who needs vocals when you've got riffs like these," gjalder kvartettens motto. Debuten Dividual tager udgangspunkt i 90'ernes benhårde "math rock", hvor punket energi, ukurante taktarter og skæve riff gør fælles front i et kompromisløst stormløb på sanseapparatet. - Gaffa, Denmark


With very few exceptions, purely instrumental rock albums get very tedious very quickly, often highlighting the importance of the vocal element in adding an extra, somewhat essential, dimension to the overall experience. København's Obstacles
fall somewhere between exposing this shortfall and revealing that the inclusion of a singer isn't as important as some may think. The album displays an insane amount of technical wizardry, falling in and out of rock and free jazz, at times sounding like an intense math-rock jam session. Closing track "Locomotive" is where "Dividual" both rises and falls. Featuring the only vocal performance on the album, it makes it very clear that the music Obstacles
plays benefits greatly from having a singer -- in this case Henrik W. Hald
of Trust
and Rising
fame -- in the fold. His inclusion offers a distinct Mastodon
vibe and shows, undeniably, that this is a band who has the potential to reach a level of appreciation that will escalate them to a greater international recognition. The music is of the same style as on the rest of the album; it's just that where the other, voice-free, tracks often wind up sounding a little too much like fret-wankery of the highest order, the vocal addition gives us something additional to concentrate on, resulting in a greater, true appreciation of the musicianship on display. There's great potential here. Whether or not the band decides to capitalize on that is entirely up to them.
- John Norby - It's a Trap! Scandinavian music journal


Discography

2010:
"'Dividual" - LP
"Auxes/Obstacles" split - 7"

2009:
"Obstacles" - 7"

2008:
"Decomposition of Movement" - CDEP

Photos

Bio

They say that obstacles are only made to be overcome, like rules are meant to be broken. As if there is nothing great about being an obstacle, or as if we should not be thankful that obstacles present themselves along the way. Here is a band that knows the real deal.

Obstacles is Jeppe, Niels-Peder, Morten and Thomas. Obstacles is Bass, Keys, Drums and Guitar. Add to that a collection of effect pedals and some other electronic stuff thrown in the mix. They have been around, well, a couple of years doing everything they could to challenge the triviality of the over-stimulated and uniform late industrial capitalist culture industry. They play rythmic music. Obstacles is a member of a creative and stimulating DIY scene blossoming in Copenhagen, Denmark (where most other things aren’t exactly in bloom); they are untimely meditations on the possibility of imagining an alternative to our one-dimensional societies and repressive nation states.

We should be straight with you: it is an instrumental band. No auto-tuned vocals here, baby. Just strange song structures, complex timings and mad, mad, mad beats. Grinding basslines, fly ass guitar licks. While the-know-it-alls of today’s cynical and desillusioned music scenes would call it math-rock, we know better to think of it as the sound The Meters would make if they were still any good, or just the sound of all good things to come. Maybe it’s just punk. But comparisons are misguiding. Instead, let’s make some subject-predicate constructions: Obstacles’ sound is intense; it is precise; it is zealous; meticulous and quite thorough. It can be furious, violent, as obsessed as it can be playful and curious, even tender; Obstacles is sound that knows no fear. Or rather, fear is only an obstacle to be overcome. The sound of Obstacles is the sound of music uncomprimised, driven by an aristocratic disregard for consequences.

Break every rule in the book, baby!

Obstacles is first and foremost a live band. The quartet has already toured Europe several times and unlike most Scandinavian bands Obstacles often head east. The band has toured Russia and the whole eastern Europe several times. Obstacles' live shows are not to be missed. Not only is this a
tight unit - to a level that is almost scary - Obstacles can also create an engaging vibe which is not often seen on the so called "Indie rock scene" today.

Expect to be blown away!

European Tour January 5th - 29th 2011.

Live Videos:
"Other(s)" - Live from 007, Prague
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XkZJmZmBIc

"The B-side Contains Subliminal Messages" - Live from Demokratia, Moscow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrmBxDv2Pbw