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Monday, February 25, 2013
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Stijn Meuris is perhaps best known for being the frontman of Belgian act Noordkaap, which existed from 1990 to the year 2000, leaving us 3 full-length albums (that 3rd one with an altered line-up after a hiatus) and two collaborations to movie soundtracks. In fact, their song “Ik Hou Van U” hit the singles charts for several weeks thanks to having become known to a broader public through their taking care of the Manneken Pis soundtrack, and in 2005 the single was re-issued in a new version to celebrate Belgium's 175th anniversary, sporting French lyrics along the original Dutch version.

One year after Noordkaap's demise (very much as he'd predicted) Meuris returned with his new band Monza (its line-up including Noordkaap's Mario Goossens, of the band's “Mark II” membership) and its first album Van God Los. But in 2002 most of the band left, and a new hiatus was announced. Not that this left Meuris without a job. Not only has he been active as a journalist, but he's also worked for National television and radio. New members were eventually recruited, and Monza released its new album Grand in 2005. It was followed by a series of live performances, from which the DVD Grand Slam was culled (featuring the band's show at Rock Werchter and some video clips). After a new line-up change happening in the Fall of 2007, Monza released its third album Attica! In March 2008. During April and May of that year, Monza traveled through the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, using a circus tent for their Rock Im Ring tour. Then followed the Attica! Theatertour (which, as the title suggests, saw the band playing in theaters throughout the country...and Holland?).

Then Meuris felt need for some change again and, attracting new musicians under the bandname Meuris 2010, brought the album Spectrum, an album with remakes of both Noordkaap and Monza songs. An extended list of concerts followed. 2011 saw the release of the soundtrack for Hasta La Vista, a movie by director Geoffrey Enthoven. The music on the soundtrack is provided by Antwerp based act Papermouth (which includes Meuris guitarist Kris Delacourt), and 6 of the songs have vocals done by Stijn Meuris. Single “Route Nationale” becomes a moderate hit at National radio station Studio Brussel, and in the meantime the movie has been sold to 23 countries. It also won about 20 international prizes.

In 2012, time came to give the band known as Meuris a new push, and so new songs were written in a mood which perfectly combines the sound of the '80s with Stijn's own inimitable style and poetic-like lyrics. You can get an earful of the new material at (www.), where no less than 8 of the 11 songs on the album are posted. Only one problem, you'll need to sign up with facebook in order to get to the audio (if you thought that. If, like myself, you are appalled by those “social networks”, you'll either have to make due with the 30-second samples of songs usually provided by your trusted online sales websites (iTunes for sure, link at (www.), go out to the local record store to ask for a listening session, or go to one of the band's shows, which will be sporting their mix of Noordkaap and Monza “covers”, as well s a portion of the new album!