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(Matador Records)

Like instrumental indie rock but tired of self-indulgent, wank-off solos and rambling 10-minute jams? Then check out Profane, the latest album by Couch.

Hailing from Germany, the band—consisting of Michael Heilrath on bass, Jurgen Soder on guitar, Stefanie Bohm on keyboards, and Thomas Geltinger on drums—performs engaging, surprisingly straight-ahead rock that recalls other largely instrumental groups such as Slint and Pell Mell while giving a slight nod to fellow Krauts Neu! and Kraftwerk. Alternating between intense, hard-driving blasts such as "Kurzer Punkt" and almost ambient outings such as "Was Alles Halt," Profane is one of those rare all-purpose discs equally good for parties or for just hanging out at home. And remember—no annoying vocalists to muck things up.

Couch will appear at the Knitting Factory for two shows on Friday, May 4th, with Peaches and Gonzales.

- Eric "I'm actually not German" Schneider

Read the counterpoint by a grouchy editor.

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