Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lindemann - Skills in Pills (2015)

I was looking forward to this. It's been six years since the last Rammstein album. Six long years. Despite Rammstein guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe having his own band in the meantime to sort of give Rammstein fans a little fix, it's been a shame that one of the more talented of vocalists hasn't had his own project until recently. But the Lindemann release has finally seen the light of day and it is exactly what I expected. 

Skills in Pills does nothing to dishonor Lindemann's status as a great vocalist. Yes, his accent is indeed thick, but rather than sound menacing as he does in German he often sounds hilarious in English. And I mean that in a good way. Allow me to explain. Till is singing in his normal style. If he were singing this in German you'd think he'd be singing about something serious like invading another country (like most Americans seem to assume that's what German bands sing about), but that isn't the case. He just sings like he's evoking the powers of Satan. His voice is deep and he's in top form. This is the voice of Rammstein. But he's singing about... golden showers and loving ladyboys and abortion? 

Yep, everyone meet Till Lindemann auf Englisch. 

Some of these lyrics are freaking funny. I mean, Fat? The opening verse to that song is: "Your dirty sweat my sweetest potion, Your armpits swampy little oceans, Your flabby butthole a soggy cave, I put in my parts and let them bathe"

I mean, just... What else could anyone be expecting? This is brilliant poetry right here. 

After Consequence of Sound blasted this album in a review I figured that there really must be something here. Yes, the lyrics can be a bit clumsy (it is his first full length album in English) and gross (duh), but Till Lindemann has been writing about the same topics for years now. It's nothing new, but it is also nothing bad, either. Think of Rammstein songs like Zwitter, Ich tu dir weh, und Mein Teil. Rammstein has absolutely no shortage of gross, disgusting, and/or controversial songs. It's kinda what they do. 

However, it's in English.  We can all understand it now. But does that rob it of any mystique? Maybe if you didn't know anything he sang about before, but I can't imagine many fans of Rammstein that didn't at least acquire some knowledge of what they were really hearing. And anyone getting pissy over these lyrics obviously didn't understand Rammstein's lyrics in the first place so... eh, who cares about them. They probably aren't fans of this kind of music anyway. 

And this isn't really Rammstein. In the same genre, yes, but just different enough. Instead this project is done with Peter Tätgtren performing all of the instruments as well as producing the album. So I'm not sure if Lindemann is an accurate name for this duo, but there's no doubt the large portion of American audiences will be drawn to this to hear the Rammstein frontman. So while maybe not accurate, the band name fits the perception, I suppose. 

All of these songs are good. All of them. Even Golden Shower is. "Cunt" is a word that I find a bit uncomfortable but within the confines of this song I find it's usage acceptable since he isn't using it to degrade anyone. If anything... he's using it as a compliment? "Your pretty cunt" is a socially acceptable dating phrase, right? 

However, the four "serious" gems on this album are Yukon, Children of the Sun, Home Sweet Home, and Skills in Pills. So Till isn't a one trick pony on the lyrical front. 

But, at the end of the day, it is about the music as a whole. If you like Industrial Metal or the Neue Deutsche Härte then I imagine it would be tough to pass this effort up. While I am looking forward to the next Rammstein album (whenever the hell that will be) I certainly wouldn't mind if this dynamic duo released a second effort someday. And maybe a concert blu-ray for this album. The concert props used during Praise Abort would be insane. 

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