I can’t believe I have to introduce this band, it’s f***ing Rammstein. In the 1990‘s, when acts such as Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie were using a huge bag of tricks to terrorise the world with poorly interpreted satanic panic. All this German act needed to do was have one member armed with a pyrotechnics license and a fake penis that shot tequila out in audience to get them banned from several US states and send shivers down the spine to the middle class of English parents who were worried for the children.
That was just in one tour, 21 years ago!
In those 21 years, Rammstein has had zero chill and could not give a f**k about your feelings. They have written songs about lonely hearts cannibal Aaron Mews and father of the century Josef Fritzl and pushed the boundaries of taste in several music videos, including one that could only be viewed on a porn site. Hell, only just recently, they sent the Jewish community up in arms, over a teaser trailer for leading single ‘Deutschland‘ a song that essentially says “We’re not proud of our country’s history, but we are proud to be from our country” It’s a wonderful national anthem of a song, just without, y’know, the racism, the bigotry or the milkshake throwing.
Top tip – next time a bigot comes to your village dividing the local jam eaters from the marmalade samplers – both of which are delicious on both crumpets and strumpets, don’t bother with a milkshake, throw a f***ing cows carcass at the c***s. As terrific as they are as hangover cures, milkshakes are for rookies, you have to ramp up those missiles (Strange flex, but ok – Concerned For The Cattle Editor).
Now with that ANTIFA-esque rant out of the way, lets review, Rammstein’s… Um… ‘Rammstein‘!
Here’s the pressing question, was this worth the ten year wait? Their last offering ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da‘ was a barn burner of an album, punching you with track after track of industrial metal goodness. It was going to be as harder act to follow than taking off lederhosen during an Oktoberfest heatwave. Thankfully, Rammstein has achieved that and have gone into brave new roads and avenues to get there. The album kicks off with the aforementioned ‘Deutschland’, which unless you own the brain of a goldfish, I already just described, so let’s move on to ‘Radio‘, a trance influenced number almost reminiscent of the father of electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk, having a baby with the lyrics of Queen’s ‘Radio Gaga‘
This is the new path I was trying to describe, compared to ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’, Rammstein’s self-titled effort is minimalist in design, right down to album cover design of just one match on a white background. It will take a few listens to understand the sentiments, but that’s just fine. Do you remember albums that would take – y’know – a whole f***ing album to digest and listen to? This is what Rammstein are trying to achieve. They could easily bring out a ‘Mutter Part 2‘ and it would have sold by the millions, but that was not what they wanted to go for.
The best part? Despite this taking a lunch break to listen too, there are still individual songs that stand on it’s own two feet. ‘Zeig Dich‘ for all it’s choir posturing has an anthemic chorus that it is hard not to walk angrily too and kick a cat across a rugby field. ‘AUSLÄNDER‘ is unashamedly German Pop hooks about being a weary traveller, it’s hard not fall in love with anything this album has to offer. For me? My personal highlight comes with the song ‘Was Ich Liebe‘ a slow thumping song – trust me I am trying hard not to get into any double entendres – that showcases, lyrics of self loathing in ones self indulgence, coupled with Til Lindermann’s vocals at his apex and most viscous.
I don’t think I can really confess my love for this album anymore than I already have. It’s latter half welcomes us to melodic and often melancholic offerings such as ‘Diamant‘ and ‘Halloman‘ that by times these songs sweep over you, you are going to work out if this album is really for you or not. For ten years Rammstein fans having been waiting in bated breath for a new album and thank the maker, the wait was worth every minute. Fans of the German pyromaniacs more harder edges may not think much of this album on a first try, but give this album a bit more of your patience and you will rewarded.
Rammstein are trying to take newer fangled bands that only care about singles, rather than albums by the ear and showing all of them that with love, attention to detail and how taking your f***ing time, will pay off. To all you newer acts out there, f***ing listen to them, they are trying to save our genre!