Arisen from the ashes of German crust / screamo veterans Alpinist and named after a heroic resistance fighter during WWII, Jungbluth is set to be another heavyweight in the flourishing European hardcore punk scene fighting fascism, sexism and any other form of humane and ideological oppression. All the band members already devoted themselves to this vital battle in the past, and their new musical project is definitely no exception, with the band name being just one indicator for that. However, Part Ache’s lyrical content is much broader than just its politico-social mindset. Jungbluth’s three voices scream about personal experiences and internal struggles, picking up issues which are applicable to the basic social coexistence as well as, and more specifically, to the music scene they’re virtually a part of. Their emotional involvement provides the debut LP of the three-piece with a more tangible and sustainable character, fueling their fight for peace and equality with far more than just gleaming slogans or political thoughts.
To accommodate their profound ideas, Jungbluth performs Part Ache with the utmost of musical intensity. Instrumental opener “Crevasse” soon forces a rattling crescendo that exposes the band’s preference for the amalgamation of sheer force and darkened beauty. Clashing cymbals crown the heavy distortion of bass and guitar which resonate in perfect unison, hiding the soaring melody under a veil of abrasive chords and pummeling rhythms. The album’s wall of sound is not impenetrable though, as songs like “No One But Myself” and “Angebot / Nachsage” are pushed forward by grainy power chord variations that carry the sometimes-shrieking, sometimes-throaty screams from frenzied drum fills to sludgy bass breaks (“Wakefield”), melodic hardcore outbursts (“Looks Like Freedom”) or effervescing climaxes (“Zwang Abwärts”).
Yet, the soundscape present on here is dense and crushing, giving the record its gloomy, apocalyptic feel that sometimes conveys the sentiment that all hope is lost. Only “These Rare Moments” and its subsequent instrumental follower “Au Revoir Tristesse” perceptibly radiate the uplifting spirit of hopefulness and confidence. While the former resolves its bottled-up tension in the distant chanting of “for the more of us/that lift our voices in a song/the sweeter life will be,” which eventually peaks in a gorgeous pinnacle of harmonic heaviness, the latter illustrates its emotional virtue and self-confidence with strong rhythmics and a dynamic song progression. This small solitude of hope and its melodic undercurrent function as a key ingredient to the album’s overall sound and add a much-needed angle to the overly pessimistic lyricism.
When the xylophone drops of closer “Cravesse II” finally fade away, Part Ache’s combination of dissonant screamo aesthetics and boisterous punk rock comes to a more than satisfying end. Jungbluth accomplished a truly amazing work of hardcore music with compelling significance for the musical scene it emerged from. Though most of its words are meaningless for non-German speakers, the band manages to express their beliefs and struggles with thrilling music and just a few English lines here and there that make their music much more relatable and tactile for their international listeners. Hardcore fans and antifascists all over the world, unite!