Our Time Will Come

Another year, another new KMFDM album. If only every band were so prolific! Wait a second, that’s how I started my review of last year’s album… but it works, because they keep pumping ’em out for our industrial-dance/metal enjoyment. Every year there’s a new full-length, and in between, Käpt’n K and his hardworking crew constantly produce new remixes, compilations, and merch, all for sale via 30 years running is impressive for any group today, and Sascha keeps that engine going by running KMFDM like a brand, not just a band.

This year’s model is full of propulsive dance boogie as usual, but after the obligatory bouncy first track, “Genau” (“that’s the German in you!,” Sascha barks), Our Time Has Come settles into a slightly more sinister groove. You see, there’s plenty about today’s world to be pissed about – inequality, warfare, injustice, corruption, and stupidity galore – and that’s perfect fodder for rabble-rousing and subversive snark – all set to an electro-metal soundtrack, of course.

Like last year’s excellent, high-intensity album Kunst, Our Time Will Come is solid and consistent – which, as a longtime listener, is my #1 requirement for a KMFDM album. No weird experimental tracks or sludgy clunkers that bring the fun to a halt. Though the pace varies, and leans more towards mid-tempo menace than all-out ass-kickers, almost everything here’s got danceable momentum, sinuous synths, bumpin’ beats, and plenty of heavy guitar crunch (some of it more massive-sounding and downtuned than ever before). There’s also an even split between Lucia-and-Sascha-led tracks on the album; when she first joined the collective, there were only a few tracks per album, but by now she’s been well-established as half of KMFDM‘s sound.

Album standout this time goes to “Salvation,” a Sascha-fronted dance-floor monster that has him dropping down to a deep, sonorous chant (I had to check to make sure it wasn’t En Esch) in the chorus. Combined with the deep, rumbling guitars throughout, it feels like an old Sisters of Mercy track. The second half, which brings back the chorus from 1990’s “Naive,” completes that throwback feel. I’m sure “Salvation” will be a crowd favorite and a definite add to the setlist rotation for years to come. “Respekt” is another fave. It starts with bouncy synths and a distorted vocal, but quickly builds up to a dense, multi-layered and angry electro-metal anthem. It’s not as bombastic as a classic like “DIY,” but slyly funny lyrics like “I will punch your head until you say ‘I respekt you'” and a vocal trade-off between Sascha and guest vocalist/co-writer Tom Stanzel (of German electropop outfit Spiritual Reality) also ensure a fun live performance.

Other strong Sascha-led tracks include the shadowy skulk of “Brainwashed,” which sounds like it could have been a Pig track in one of the band’s previous incarnations, the fast-paced electro of album-closer “Make Your Stand,” (with second guest vocalist William Wilson of Seattle industrial-rock act Legion Within), and “Blood vs Money,” which has Sascha adopting a rough melodic croon unlike anything I can remember from his normal, gravelly delivery.

Lucia doesn’t have anything quite as pulse-pounding as past favorites like “Looking for Strange” or “New American Century,” but that fits with the album’s moodier stance. Her most effervescent track is “Get the Tongue Wet,” an upbeat rock stomp with chiming guitar riffs, police sirens, stuttery beats, and a staccato selection of vocal treatments: chanteuse croon, vocoder snarl, and saucy shouts. Her other moments are slower and smokier, like the sultry, “Vogue”-like funk of “Shake the Cage,” or the sturm-und-drone gloom of the title track, an understated dubstep ballad that promises to build to an explosive crescendo – and yet it never does.

That title track kind of sums up my feeling about Our Time Will Come as a whole. The album cover depicts a revolution ablaze, but the music within feels more like a smoking fuse; a snarl but not a roar. It’s got fun energy, but it never fully explodes with rage. Perhaps that was intentional, otherwise we might have gotten ‘Our Time Has Come’ – but given the critical, mocking stance of the album’s lyrics and that Molotov cover art – something more aggressive, unleashed, and pissed-off might have been a better spark to that overpacked powder-keg. Explosion or no, Our Time Will Come is still another fun collection of well-crafted KMFDM tracks, and sure to please longtime fans of the band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
November 17th, 2014


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