With 20 releases under their belt, the small Karate Joe label from Austria keeps sharpening their own aesthetic. Somehow, Karate Joe releases nearly always sound referential, but still maintain their own particularities. The same is true for Pendler, the trio of Markus and Sabine Marte with Oliver Stotz. Just like their label mates Mimi Secue, Pendler instantly bring to mind 1990s ?slowcore? bands like Low or Codeine.
At the first listen, Pendler?s songs are not overly exciting. Neither Markus nor Sabine Marte have outstanding singing voices and there are no instantly ear-catching songs on the CD. Spending more time with the album reveals a great love for detail though that makes the songs incredibly lively. The mastering for almost all Karate Joe releases is done by Martin Siewert, a renowned expert for sound precision. And I feel like on ?You Come To Me?, he has done an especially great job. The guitar feedback on ?The Saints? lingers in the background as if MBV were back, while the drums on ?Oh Yes? seem to literally exit the speakers and materialize in the room. Obviously, mastering a CD is just the last step in a long chain of contributions, so the main credit has to go to the band. Pendler manage to place the expectable as well as the surprising sounds (like the whistling and pendulum on ?OhOhOh?) at the exact position where they are needed. That way, there?s always something new to discover, even after multible listens.
In addition, Pendler?s songwriting holds some twists and turns that make for an always challenging listening experience. One flaw of the CD are the lyrics. When Sabine Marte sings about cars as weapons on ?Cathy Anger? for example, everything is just too predictable. The lyrics and also the slightly unnerving ending track ?Schrei-Ben? don?t impair the overall success of Pendler?s debut album though. 7/10 -- Stephan Bauer (21 August, 2006)