CD REVIEWS

2010-01-31 // 17:36

RADIO GOETHE presents German bands Vol. 3

RADIO GOETHE presents German bands Vol. 3

A benefit CD for College Radio ($ 5,-)

    * Oomph!: Augen auf
    * Lem: Notorious Fault (unreleased)
    * Fiddler's Green: Shut up and dance
    * ASP: Ich will brennen
    * Metallspürhunde: Ganz allein
    * Rotersand: Merging Oceans
    * Pearls of Dew: Golem
    * Dein Schatten: Honigschlecken
    * In Strict Confidence: Babylon
    * Inca Hunters: Totalis
    * Fetish 69: All that sex
    * Patenbrigade Wolff/Sara Noxx: Krantransport (unreleased)
    * The Fair Sex: Get out off my head
    * Eisbrecher: Schwarze Witwe (Demo)
    * Tanzwut: Caupona
    * Sonic Front: Underground (unreleased)
    * Gaffa: Stay at home
    * Totenmond: Der Ich-Parasit
    * Hans Joachim Irmler: Muti Vision (unreleased)
    * Diledadafish: Part seven of a Spanish TV show (unreleased)
    * ALP: Alpine (unreleased)
    * Megaherz: Es brennt
    * Umbra et Imago: Sagt nein
    * Awen: Unexplained
    * Northern Lite: Trusting bling
    * Erstes Wiener Heimorgelorchester: Frustrationstoleranz
    * Infamis: Der Sinn des Kampfes (unreleased)
    * Klaus Brandl/ Chris Schmitt: Great Western Blues
    * Potentia Animi: Domina
    * Lilo Kraus: La Guabina
    * Westernhagen: Freiheit
    * Anjaka: Bitte bleib

Radio Goethe's latest compilation, German Bands Vol. III, is an excellent example of modern German music, and starts off with an incredible bang! Oomph's "Augen Auf" is one of the greatest singles released so far this year, going gold in both Germany and Austria! The song is truly amazing, and shows that there is great potential for German musicians to achieve large success. I also think there may be possible success for the next band, Lem. Their song "Notorious Fault" is reminiscent of music like classic U2 and the like. "Shut up and Dance" by Fiddler's Green (as well as many other German bands) introduces traditional instruments into their music to create a sort of "medieval rock". This combination can be very exciting to listen to, but unfortunately I do not think this song is a good example, and is actually a bit irritating to listen to after a while.

After these first few tracks, CD 1 focuses largely on more electronic-oriented music. "Ich Will Brennen" by ASP is an impressive song with a very catchy melody. It will get stuck in your head and you will want to play it over and over again. Metallspürhunde is the first of two Swiss bands on the compilation, and their song "Ganz Allein" has been very popular on Radio Goethe's weekly show. It is well loved by many, and is an excellent song choice for the compilation. The next stretch of about eight songs offers very electronic sounding music, many with a nice industrial flavor. I am not particularly familiar with many of these musicians, but it has given me a good introduction to them, and I plan on exploring some of these bands more in depth. Rotersand's song "Merging Oceans" is of particular interest because of its strong electronic trance sound. And the song "Babylon", by In Strict Confidence, is a really nice example of a synthie-electro-industrial sound. Further down the track-list is the demo version for Eisbrecher's song "Schwarze Witwe". They have been one of my favorite bands right from the beginning, when former Megaherz front- man Alexx left the band to form Eisbrecher, so it's a special treat to hear this demo version. The song incorporates a perfect blend of guitar and electronics, warm heart and cold ice. The final song on CD 1 is "Caupona", by Tanzwut. They are another band that uses traditional melodies and instruments in their music, along with modern ones. But "Caupona" is a much better example of this style, in my opinion, than the Fiddler's Green song that appeared earlier on in the CD. The sound is very rich and full, and can be appreciated by a range of people who enjoy music of various styles.

The second CD starts of with another powerful song called "Underground". This song is heavier than what I remember other Sonic Front songs sounding like, but I think it is a positive change. The sound and some of the lyrics actually remind me of the song "Turn Me On Mr. Deadman" by the American band Union Underground. Sonic Front is definitely a great band and I hope to hear more from them in the future! The sound of "Stay at Home" by Gaffa is much lighter, with almost what sounds like a post-rock style. It's not quite my thing, but it's a nice calm interlude between the first song and the next one. Totenmond is a band known for their very heavy guitars and unique song structures, and "Der Ich-Parasit" does not disappoint someone who is expecting just that. Heavy metal used in somewhat experimental formats makes for some excellent music. The next few songs are very interesting and may require a bit of acquired taste. "Muti Vision" by Hans Joachim Irmler, "Part Seven of a Spanish TV Show" by Diledadafish, and "Alpine" by ALP, are three previously unreleased songs that are largely experimental in their sounds, but lack the guitars of Totenmond. Some might say that these songs are slow, boring, or just plain weird, but it is important to consider musicians like this on a compilation of German music because there have been large experimental arts movements in Germany and throughout Europe.

Megaherz's stunning song "Es Brennt" picks up the pace of CD 2 and delivers a strong dose of the Neue Deutsche Härte. This "New German Hard" movement is strong in modern German rock and metal bands, which primarily use heavy guitars and German lyrics to portray their sound. Umbra Et Imago is the next band on the CD, and follows along with this style very well. Their song "Sagt Nein" has more deep sounds and lyrics that should appeal to fans of both metal and gothic music. "Unexplained" by Awen continues the heavy guitars, but uses English lyrics, so the impact is not nearly as powerful. Northern Lite's song "Trusting Blind" adds electronic elements to a lighter sounding guitar riff, and the CD is straying away from the Neue Deutsche Härte sounds now, but the overall song is well done. I like it. "Frustrationstoleranz" by the Erstes Wiener Heimorgelorchester comes in with a good electronic rhythm, but it is very repetitive and the sound of the lyrics does not really add to the song. But the song title fits the band name very well; you need some tolerance while writing out the band name because it can be frustrating!

After this song, it seems to me that the remaining songs become very slow and unexciting for some reason. "Der Sinn des Kampfes" by Infamis is fairly good and has some good guitar elements. Unfortunately it is a bit monotonous and the ending is somewhat abrupt. "Great Western Blues" by Klaus Brandl and Chris Schmidt is slow and downtrodden music, just like the blues. The Potentia Animi song, "Domina", is yet another traditional style song, but this time it is without any of the more modern instruments accompanying it. It is an excellent example of this style, but again, very repetitive and a bit monotonous with only one word sung throughout the entirety of the song. Honestly, I find that the next two songs are painfully slow and quiet, with a minimal amount of instrumentation accompanying the more dominant vocals. The final song on CD 2, "Bitte Bleib" by Anjaka, is slightly better, but certainly does not give you a powerful closing song to remember the compilation by. The last track should really have been something that people would remember well, and encourage them to come back and listen to the compilation again.

Overall, Radio Goethe's German Bands Vol. III compilation is an extraordinary example of German music. Rarely does one come across a collection of bands that crosses so many genres and styles of music. From the most current and popular bands in Germany, to the undiscovered and independent experimental musicians, there is bound to be some music on this compilation that will appeal to everyone. And since music is a language that is recognized by people everywhere, the promotion that Radio Goethe does with this CD will hopefully reach people of a worldwide audience.

Review by Gregory E. Pilling (greg@stahlhammer.org),
05 June 2004

The third Radio Goethe compilation has just been released and, although the other two are great, this one really rules supreme!

Starting out with one of my new favorite songs certainly didn't hurt, "Augen Auf" by Oomph rocks and I am hopelessly addicted to it! And with bands like Metallspürhunde from Switzerland, Megaherz, Eisbrecher and Tanzwut there can be no question that even some of us still "getting into" the German music scene will probably recognize some of this music, either from the Radio Goethe program or forums or word of mouth...

But the best part of this CD is that, even bands I'm not really familiar with, have some excellent songs included and make me want to buy more of their music! This is, of course, the whole purpose of these compilations, introducing us to new music and bands, and this new CD does it brilliantly! I liked almost everything on it and, considering that it has many different styles of music, from medieval rock to techno to alternative to... whatever, that's saying something about the quality of music here! Well, ok, maybe I wouldn't go on a shopping spree based on *every* band, but since this is a compilation, that decision is completely dependent on the listener and there is alot to listen to - 32 bands on two CD's and all this for ??? Madness!

All I can say is that I'm really impressed with this CD & will be listening to it alot AND buying some new music soon! Congrats to Arndt on a job well done! And if you don't buy this CD, especially considering the price, you need to spend the rest of your life kicking your own ass!

Mikki Landers, Deutschmusikland.com,
06. Juni 2004

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