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Blitzkrieg Pop

T. Raumschmiere
Blitzkrieg Pop

T. Raumschmiere's last album Radio Blackout was a pretty fun little release that mixed a fair amount of styles together into a full-length that seemed to dip into just about every style he'd tried previously (from washing ambience to dirty electronic rock). Blitzkrieg Pop finds him tossing off all these old styles for a much more cohesive release in terms of overall sound, but unfortunately it comes at the expense of the songwriting itself.

The Ramones were known for their fairly simple, yet catchy songwriting, so it's no wonder that Raumschmiere punned the title of one of their most famous songs for this release. With thirteen tracks running under forty minutes, songs are kept brief and to-the-point, and his overall music palette has been slimmed down as well, opting for a much, much more straightforward approach that mimics his more rock-influenced previous work.

Oddly enough, the results come off as pretty standard synth-rock fare. Both the opening single "Sick Like Me" and "A Mess" sound like Marylin Manson b-sides with their electronic drum stomp, juicy guitars, synth bass, and over-the-top vocals. On "A Very Loud Lullaby," Sandra Nasic contributes vocals, and the result (intended or not) reminds one of a wailing guitar track (with female guest vocals) of an 80s MOR hair-metal band. The closing album-titled "Blitzkrieg Pop" reverts back to the style of the former, with five more minutes of guitar power chords, screamed vocals, and more drum machine fills than you can wave your gloved hands at.

Fortunately, there are tracks on the release that sound a little less hamfisted. "Diving In Whiskey" is a glitchy, electo-stomper that finds Ellen Allien adding some breathy vocals over squelching, stuttering backdrops, while "3 Minutes Of Happiness" is only one of a couple moments on the album where things get backed off a little and the understated vocals by Judith Juillerat fit into the murky track perfectly. Some of the instrumental tracks on the release fair pretty well as well, with "Army Of Watt" providing some crunchy, growling 4/4 dancefloor fodder while "Patridiot" hums with a juicy bassline and bounces pinging filtered keys and slabs of noise over the top.

Whether or not you like the release will largely depend on what style of Raumschmiere's past output you like the most. If you enjoy his more mainstream sounding electronic rock work, Blitzkrieg Pop might be the buzzing, thumping soundtrack to your late summer, but if you're looking for something with a bit more subtlety, it's going to sound like a hamfisted bludgeon upside the head. While there are a couple shining moments, I mainly fall into the latter camp, and while there is some fun to be had, it's the weakest output from Raumschmiere yet.

Rating: 5