The Notwist have been together since 1989, though most of us in America never heard any of the early metal and dark indie rock releases that first characterized the band. It was 2002’s Neon Golden, with its art-inflected electronic pop, that brought the group much of its North American fanbase. And while subsequent releases found the group returning to more organic instrumentation at times, it hasn’t lost an unerring ear for low-key but expansive melodies, whether accompanied by noisy drones or sprightly rhythms. The new album, Superheroes, Ghostvillains, & Stuff, is a live album, the second of three nights at a sold-out run of shows in Germany at the end of 2015. But this is the rare live recording that actually changes—and in some cases, improves—the already-strong source material. From a triumphant version of “One With The Freaks” to the noisy bombast of “Kong,” the record (out in North America on Sub Pop for digital and Forced Exposure for CD/LP, and Alien Transistor in the rest of the world) is a transportive experience, the next best thing to actually seeing one of the immersive concerts.
The album is streaming in full here as an A.V. Club exclusive, so check it out while you can. Also, go see them live. Also, let us tell you again what a good band The Notwist are.