With their third album “Manic Acid Love” Schmieds Puls lead through a grand thematic triptych within the perpetual cycle of human emotions. Spanning eleven tracks the album shows unconditional devotion (Manic), the deep vulnerability this kind of dedication can initiate (Acid), and finally closes the aforementioned circle with the human power to overcome these hurdles trough reconciliation (Love), creating a profound spectacle of feelings.
What Mira Lu Kovacs, Christian Grobauer (dr) and Walter Singer (b) - also known as Schmieds Puls - have created both on stage and on their records over the past few years, is of such great stylistic variety that genre definitions are moot. A vagueness of some kind leaves room for the instrumental virtuosity, compositional originality and the stories told through their music.
With her previous albums “Play Dead” (2013) and “I Care A Little Less About Everything Now” (2015) songwriter Mira Lu Kovacs has established herself as a master of her craft. Between then and now lies not only an Amadeus Austrian Music Award (2016), a spectacular experience outside of her main project with Supergroup 5kHD and prestigious bookings as a well-liked performer, most recently at the opening of the Wiener Festwochen (Vienna Festival) in May.
“Manic Acid Love’s” artwork depicts streams of lava – beautiful and uncontrollable it works as picturesque metaphor. Beneath the beauty of its surface lie endless layers of power. The deeper emotional grief sits, the more forcefully it has to erupt at some point.
With every hardship and disappointment, it loads up more; the gleaming anger and exasperation initially unloads between the lines, to eventually culminate in rants, meriting an “explicit lyrics” label.
Therefore, the third album is also Schmieds Puls’ loudest offering thus far. While the former albums where part of a path of self-discovery, “Manic Acid Love” is more direct, and a deliberate step away from expectations as well as ultimate perfectionism, towards actually fathoming opposites.
“Oh (You Lose Me)” reduces the album to a vast emptiness, only for the volcano to finally erupt in the following key piece “Superior”, unloading a sincere “Fuck You” accentuated with hearty grunge guitars.
“Part of me wants people to be afraid of me”, says Mira Lu Kovacs about acquiring a new, emancipated self-conception of her creative work. “Manic Acid Love” demands a dialogue, confident, with a certain kind of harshness and partly aggressive. It is ‘in your face’, drawing clear boundaries between the bearable and intolerable, in the end fulfilling the songwriter’s wish, and forcefully underlining the manic part of the album’s title.
In a way lava seeks its way through nature just as different phases of human relationships illuminate different facets of life, love and its fragility. “Manic Acid Love” is a process, a script for a therapeutic volcanic eruption.
Finally, the listener is let in on the next steps (“Where I Go Next”), and that the ability of self-acceptance is crucial for any new beginning. Lava – once cold – counts not without reason as a special kind of fertile ground to start an entirely new circle.