Since the early days of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, suburban kids have channeled their rage through a combination of snare hits and distorted synths as likely to provoke a knife fight as a dance party. But none have done it quite like this. As fans of early industrial acts will recall, there's nothing like lyrics shouted over savage guitars and mucky bass lines that will rattle the cheap speakers right out of rebellious teenagers' crappy first cars. Luckily for ragers old and young, Germany has sent a satisfying remedy for angst. Blitzkrieg Pop, T. Raumschmiere's second full-length on Novamute, is loaded with good-old-fashioned, punk-meets-techno scream-fests. Turn this one up, kids, and scare your yuppie neighbors into thinking you're a threat to their topiaries.
Raised on the same diet of punk rock, industrial and hardcore music that's informed the last couple generations of angry kids, Marco Haas, who records as T. Raumschmiere (among other aliases) is an expert at plastering a dangerous veneer over a dance-floor-ready core. His singles for the Kompakt label interlace dense bass lines with warped drumbeats that skip along to the tempo, leaving you with an irresistible urge to nod your head. On this full-length, T. Raumschmiere leaves behind the cacophony of his previous album, 2003's Radio Blackout, and introduces German underground techno to pop.
Blitzkrieg Pop is a refreshing flashback to more nihilistic times. After "Sick Like Me," the scathing opening track (and the album's first single), "Diving In Whiskey" provides a startling Ellen Allien-esque dance track with vocals from none other than the talented producer and bPitch Control label owner herself. Echoes of Norway's answer to metal-fused techno, Dwayne Sodahberk, are also apparent in this rage-meets-new-wave blend. And even if the new-wave resurgence is already over, this track remains interesting. None of it is blatantly retro, even with the asymmetrical haircuts and safety-pinned clothing inherent in Allien's vocals. (Those Germans really know how to move forward while keeping an eye over their shoulders for a glimpse at what has made us groove in the past.)
Everything builds up to the over-the-top sturm and drang celebration called "A Mess." Here, T. Raumschmiere makes the most of his debut as a vocalist, giving the kids an anthem to chant along with as he screams "No, no, no more." If that wasn't enough, the track is layered with an array of samples and stuttering sonic effects that sound like tires skidding on the autobahn. This irresistible combination of intelligent production combined with a simple four-four tempo guarantees that this music isn't just for spiky-haired kids with their fingernails painted black.
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