De Keefmen are one of those bands that will hit the spot instantly or linger and request acceptance but never quite make that bridge into the heart, whatever the reaction to their distinctive and unpolished sound they are a band which defies a dismissal of their songs. The band and their music is seeded in the Dutch sixties Nederbiet sound, influencing a style which leaves the ear at times shell shocked, blistered but always happy. De Keefmen unleash rough and coarse tunes which reverberate and scrape around the senses, their melodies are caustic and vocals verging on desperate in tone but wrapped together with infectious rhythms and frantic energy conspire to make songs which excite and inspire.
Their new EP Me Keefmen, You Jane (part 2), a three track intensive plead on the ear, continues on from Be That Guy/Jane, the two songs which made up previous single Me Keefmen, You Jane (part 1). Released on vinyl via Kuriosa and digitally through Dirty Water Records, the new EP is an intense and emotively powerful trio of tracks which stir up a reaction every time they twist up the senses. The garage rock essence to the music is raw and at times feels like an aural scouring with the harsh delivery, but it is equally constantly mesmeric.
De Keefmen formed in 2008 out of the ashes of The Miracle Men who broke up the previous year. Inspired by the sixties, the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Henri Sulmann, bassist Peter Kroes, and drummer Dennis De Lange released their first single Cryin’ At My Door in their first year. To gathering acclaim further enhanced by the release of their self titled debut album, the band shifted releases between Vinyl Junkie Rekkids and Kuriosa Records, and for their following Mirror Of Time album Dirty Water Records of 2010. Following on from Part 1 from last year, Me Keefmen, You Jane (part 2) once more grabs attention with a dynamic and consuming sound which is as intense as it is hypnotic.
The songs on Part 2 take a different sideways step to the preceding release. Part 1 contained two songs offering forceful rock music with a dirty Rocket From The Crypt like sound and aggression but on this new release there is a drop in the intensity to explore an even more emotional level to their music. Opening song Wrong Kinda Place sweeps through the ear with jangling guitars and slightly more reserved vocals from Sulmann. He still drips feeling and heart from each word and phrase but the urgency is more restrained than usual though we are soon back to his full on sense of despair and anxiety on the second song Don’t Ask Me. The song is irresistible and the best on the release. It is assertive and eager, the music highly intense and enthused in bringing the vocals pleas forth with the strongest effect.
The song is completed by Anything, a track which argues its case with anxious dirty guitars and firm commanding rhythms. As with all of the songs the vocals take centre stage with the passion and emotion Sulmann musters deep from within but one should never underestimate the power and equally expressive sounds beneath his delivery as shown on this excellent song.
There is a discontent to the sound of De Keefmen and at times a crudity from the lo-fi recordings which strikes home wonderfully bringing a roughness and attitude to influences that seem to range from the likes of Otis Redding and The Sonics to The Byrds and MC5. Me Keefmen, You Jane (part 2) uses this to ruffle the senses and provoke reaction ensuring it is an EP that cannot be passed off as just another release but one that needs your attention and more.