I think I’ve finally got my answer. Rather than make you guess what the question was, I’ll just tell you. See, I have a few friends who worship the ground KMFDM or even MDFMK walks on. For years they showed me songs and for years I couldn’t figure out how I felt. At first I thought I just wasn’t ready; like I needed to progress, especially as I was just getting to know electronic music at the time. However, the more time passes and the more I hear I can honestly say “they’re just alright”. Hopefully I don’t get killed for saying that! After all, saying one of industrial music’s’ pioneers is just “alright” isn’t exactly popular. Nonetheless, the bands latest effort, Blitz, has finally brought me some clarity.
I really love industrial music but have never been a huge fan of some of its aggro-electro progeny, KMFDM being no exception. That said though, there were plenty of exceptions and highlights on Blitz.
Ever the innovator, I can at least say front-man Sascha K. did keep it interesting. Speaking of the new album, Sascha says, “I like to experiment. Going in one direction and then trying something completely different is part of the way. If I don’t change things constantly, I become irritated.”
I’ve noticed that with previous albums and honestly, those “experiments” seem to be my favorites on any given KMFDM disc, including this one. I don’t think this album was quite as experimental as it was made out to be, but it’s obvious that they tried. The most notable attempt I noticed was that they implemented some much groovier, dance rhythms to some songs. In fact, the albums opener, “(Symbol)” starts right up with a funky kick/snare combo that gradually works into the aggressive guitar attack that you’re expecting. Tracks like “Bait & Switch” and “Strut” follow suit as well (more on this later).
One of my main problems with KMFDM and many of their peers is how seriously they appear to take themselves. Actually more than anything, I have a hard time telling if their social/political commentary is humorously ironic or ham-fistedly in-your-face. Sometimes I get the idea their message is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but other times I’m like, “Wait are you guys serious? You sound serious.” But then I hear a song like “Bitches” and finally feel pretty safe saying their message is probably both. It’s quite a funny track that reminds fans not to take them too seriously because they obviously don’t either.
Another issue I have is how dated some of the songs sound. I’m glad they decided to try a bit dancier vibe but unfortunately most of it sounds pretty old and, frankly, pretty cheesy. I guess sometimes it just doesn’t work. None is a better example than the uber-cheesy “Strut” and “Take’m Out.” Observe for yourself.
On the plus side, “Davai” is sung totally in Russian. So, all you Russian natives starving for some electrogression, have at it.
Blitz was released this week on Metropolis Records.