KMFDM
WTF?!

I’ve been able to assemble a hell of a KMFDM playlist over the years, yet I don’t think the band has ever released a truly perfect album. NIHIL comes really damn close, but the rest usually play out the same way: a few awesome tracks of propulsive, riff-fueled industrial dance/metal, some solid filler, a couple of interesting oddities and one or two duds. WTF?!, the band’s 17th studio album, pretty much falls into that formula — though it’s thankfully closer to OMG!! than MEHHH.

As is the custom with most KMFDM albums, it opens with an ass-kicker. First single “Krank” is a sleek and jagged dance-floor cut full of pounding beats, electronic blips and buzzsaw guitar riffs. Throw in the expected self-glorifying lyrics and you’ve got another straight-up KMFDM anthem. Nothing terribly new or original, but satisfying all the same. Later in the album, Lucia delivers the Sisters of Mercy-meets-Garbage track “Amnesia,” and it’s the album’s other excellent standout. It’s got goth choirs, it’s got metal riffs, but it’s definitely not what we usually term as goth-metal. One of the strongest moments to date for Mrs. Captain K. She also gets off another good run at Shirley Manson halfway through the album with “Take It Like a Man,” the album’s poppiest (and, I’m not afraid to admit, catchiest) song.

That’s three tracks described, and all different. No surprise from a band that’s always delivered a large variety of songs over the years, yet they’re always unmistakably KMFDM. Other strong tracks on the album include the martial stomp of “Come On Go Off” and the effervescent crackle of “Viva La Mort,” but once again, neither sounds like anything dramatically new. On the other hand, “Panzerfaust” is the band’s first track sung in Italian (it falls into the ‘oddity’ category). Also somewhat novel: the moody “Lynchmob” progresses through a number of disparate segments before exploding into its machine-gun chorus, making it one of the most “progressive” tracks that the band has ever done, at least from a structural standpoint. Come to think of it, a full-blown KMFDM progressive epic would be amazing, but that would take some real inspiration.

As it stands, WTF?! is just another solid KMFDM release, though I will say it’s way better than 2009’s tepid BLITZ, and maybe on par with TOHUVABOHU or HAU RUCK. Still not as electrifying as their mid-90’s output, but hey, there’s always album #18 to look forward to!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
May 11th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Brandon Duncan

    Cool review, and glad to see it on this site :) I haven’t heard it yet, but next paycheck it’s MINE!


  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    I knew you would be the first to comment. :P

    This is their seventeenth release? Wow, time really does fly. Great writeup, Gaba.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    thanks Cynny. note: it’s their 17th studio album. count all the remixes and comps and they’ve got way more. good for Cap’n K, got his own little mini-empire.


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