Album review: Past and Future – Universium


 [Written by Tom Cowie]

‘Universium’ is going to become your new soundtrack for those times when your feeling somewhat overwhelmed and a little bit rubbish. I found this out when I missed the last S-Bahn on a cold and rainy Tuesday night. Feeling defeated, Steffen Schlosser’s lyrics instantly became the backing track to times of hope and futility, like finding a night-bus that might take you somewhere near your house, but then finding out your going in the wrong direction.

The album’s first three songs, “Außer Haus,” “Es Geht Voran,” and “Mein Freund” are strong songs that feature familiar, warm and fuzzy guitars against a backdrop of emotional indifference. Lyrics such as “was ist loss, mein Freund, warum enttäuscht du die Leute in deinem Universium” (What is up my friend, why do you disappoint people in your Universium), crooned by Schlosser, the lead guitarist and vocalist, can be forgiven to be considered somewhat pessimistic, however the first songs on the album, as well as “Wenn du könntest wie du wolltest” later on, possesses a rough charm that overrides the gloomy undertones in the album.

However, further on in ‘Universium’ Past and Future scrap the more casual prior offerings and introduce droning guitars, hard drums and darker lyrics. Out of these, “Wenn du nicht trinken willst” stands out, however the majority are a lot stronger then the first songs on ‘Universium,’ as the music here shows Past and Future’s ability to write deep and dark indie songs very well.

The final song, “Durch die Nacht”, is for me one of the best songs, yet oddly enough it is the most cold and isolating. Percussion and synthesiser compliment the finer qualities seen previously on the album, followed by a strange yet settling six-minute reprise remix that drains and rattles until it fades out to black.

‘Universium,’ like a cynical friend; wearing a parka, their hands stoically resting in their pockets, consoles futility with hapless resignation. ‘Universium’ puts its non-existing arm around you, and then leads you to decipher how many night buses you need to take home.