Monday, February 25, 2013
KMFDM ; " Kunst
On their newest album Kmfdm continues to lampoon the urban myths surrounding their mystique from the get go where the chorus is ..."Kmfdm, kill mother fucking Depeche Mode" which is the longest running misconception about what's the bands name means, which in actuality it stands for a German phrase that loosely translates into "no pity for the majority" , I'm surprised they didn't cover a Rammstein song as the singer was rumored to be replacing the rammsteins. We should go ahead and get out of the way what the album is most lacking and that's founding member En Esch, Who left to form Slick Idiot in 2000 and Sasha formed MDFMK where he acquired his now wife singer Lucia Ciferelli who sings on this album and no she doesn't sing on their biggest hit Juke Joint Jezabel or any of the classics for that matter, she has less of gospel belt and a more refined pop sound which at times gives the album a Lords of Acid feel.
While we are at The list of missing persons guitarist Guenter Schulz is also absent , though the stiff militant riffing is still present and covers this fact much better than some of the other line up changes which haven't changed the sound but changed the feel of the sound.
The opening title track starts off with a mortal kombat sample amd feels like it captures their personality perfectly, winking at past songs in the lyrics while adding some new sounds by a fuller production than they had access to in the nineties. I'm all for electronic acts making the most of technology after all isn't that the point to what they are doing. Anyway this is my favorite song , so it could mean the album goes down hill from there.
The Lucia sung "Ave Maria" and no not the aria of the same name, but a mid tempo dancier piece that does some excellent interplay between male and female vocals. It's fairly atypical for what they do but it's well executed with an attention to details that give depth to the song. Sure the production value is its saving grace but we have already covered that in this sort of music.
"Quake" has the stiff guitar riffs that nazi cyborgs could march in to, perhaps it's not as thick as it once was and the bass on this album doesn't smack you upside the head, so here is where they should have played up the tricks in production, other than that the sounds are very crisp and the mix leaves breathing room for what could be a sonic entanglement of too many colliding elements.
"Hello" crashes into you a little heavier than what they served up so far though it breaks down into Lucia's breathy almost Shirley Manson like vocals and glides out into almost acid jazz, but with more of a pop electronica swing to it.in the songs last two minute they blast back in with a heavy chorus but I don't feel it's as effective if the verse section of the song wasn't allowed to float around for so long. The heavy part reminds me of the Genitorturers.
"Next Big the thing" starts of straight forward color by numbers German Industrial. If Esch sang on this it would have felt more believable but comes across like filler from a Marilyn Manson album. Midway I'm a little bored, maybe I wouldn't mind it as back ground music and the song doesn't suck it just doesn't offer much I haven't already heard.
"Pussy riot " is an ode to the girls in a band of the same name who went to jail in Russia. Lucia sings this one, it feels more like lords of acid than Kmfdm, until it gets to the chorus which is well written and there is also a nineties Nu metal element to this anthem of girl power, but it works. "Pseudocide" has almost a rock n roll feedlot it and while at this point I'm wondering if i made a mistake deleting the Combichrist to make room for this the. Chorus works though isn't really wowing me.
"Animal Out" has more booty shake thump to it, the production on Lucia's vocals are really cool and the guitars finally takes forefront in the mix like I have wanted it to do earlier in the album. Theatre back in classic form on this one as it offers the best of both worlds how their fans want them to sound while benefitting from the technology of 2013 being able to deliver that in a slicker more textured fashion. " The Mess you made " takes it time wading through the sample to get to the point and is more techno than industrial though that can pretty much be said of the whole album which is much more edm. The chorus in this one is strong as it falls in a unexpected place and the guitar while it's in the passenger seat to the synth hear works more as a layer.
" I heart you not" is dark and creepy enough to almost hide the place Esch left, but he played the role of sinister Nazi with more conviction than Sasha's impersonation of him. The phrasing and all the pieces are in place to create a replica but it still has the after taste of a diet drink.
So over all I guess as the comeback trail goes its the first album I have taken notice of since post MDFMK .it sounds great the guitars I think we're intentionally playing second fiddle to the synth in this one and considering all the missing components I think they worked well with what was at their disposal so I'll give it an 8 round it up a point if you are over the fact there's no En Esch on this or are too young to remember the original incarnation of the band and truth be told I was too high to recall it with much accuracy but I do remember seeing them on the Nihil tour and it was pretty kick ass.