KMFDM (originally Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, “loosely” translated by the band as “no pity for the majority”) is an industrial band led by German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, who founded the group in 1984 as a performance art project.
The group’s earliest incarnation included German drummer En Esch and British vocalist Raymond Watts, the latter of whom left and rejoined the group several times over its history. The trio recorded the band’s earliest albums in Germany before Konietzko and Esch moved to the United States, where they found much greater success with seminal industrial record label Wax Trax!. German guitarist Günter Schulz joined in 1990; both he and Esch continued with the band until KMFDM broke up in 1999. Konietzko resurrected KMFDM in 2002 (Esch and Schulz declined to rejoin) on Metropolis Records, and by 2005 he had assembled a consistent line-up that included American singer Lucia Cifarelli, British guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White, and British drummer Andy Selway. Konietzko and Cifarelli moved back to Germany in 2007, while the rest of the band stayed in the U.S. In addition to these core members, dozens of other musicians have worked with the group across its nineteen studio albums and two dozen singles, with sales totaling in excess of two million records worldwide.
Critics consider KMFDM to be one of the first bands to bring industrial music to mainstream audiences, though Konietzko refers to the band’s music as “The Ultra-Heavy Beat”. The band incorporates heavy metal guitar riffs, electronic music, samples, and both male and female vocals in its music, which encompasses a variety of styles including industrial rock and electronic body music. The band is fiercely political, with many of its lyrics taking stands against violence, war, and oppression. KMFDM normally tours at least once after every major release, and band members are known for their accessibility to and interaction with fans, both online and at concerts. Members, singly or working together and with other musicians, have recorded under many other names, primarily Watts’ Pig, Konietzko’s Excessive Force, and Esch and Schulz’s Slick Idiot.
Hell Yeah—-A contagious and remarkable dance beat opens this track. The sound transports me back to the awakening of the Industrial sounds and movement of the 90’s. This is a bit tame to me though….not quite as aggressive as usual….but catchy as hell….it seems like the creative juices are still in flow on album number 20!
Freak Flag—-Again, this is full of the 90’s style beats and direction that defined the band in it’s heyday….the step backwards, with all of the available technology available today, is a bit disappointing. As always, the chorus of the song…steered by the ever present female vocal shapes the direction of the song. This is nostalgic in sound…..and offers little new in sound.
Oppression 1/2 /Total State Machine/Oppression 2/2—–I don’t dislike this record…..but with everything that is going on in the world today, I expected more anger and ire. After the mundane intro, the music does open up into a fantastic gallop of noise that makes me inwardly smile. The words fascist and hate appear throughout…..perhaps they got the message….this shaped up to be a great track. A single for sure!!!!
Murder My Heart—-The lead off single from this release, this is a but tame and generic at the onset. I’m amazed at the lack of aggression and anger on this release. This is a’love song’ that leaves me less than impressed and inspired.
Rip The System V. 2.0—-This is more like it…..the song opens up with more aggressive beats, the female vocal disappears and Sasha delivers line after line of everything that is wrong in the world today. This is accessible….but meaningful enough to restore some of my faith in the band. This reminds me of Nitzer Ebb.
Shock—-Returning to a mundane and predictable sound, the music that plays underneath is the songs saving grace. The beats give off an urgency that steers the song despite the female love tale that ensues in the song. I love the sharp and direct beats.
Fake News—-Everything I hoped this song would be and more. Fantastic lyrics that are timely and important…..a beat that drives the song to a pinnacle of excitement. A chorus that will live in the front of your brain for days….send this to that Trump guy will ya!!! This is fantastic.
Rx 4 The Damned—-I don’t embrace the female vocal of the song right away…but it really grows on you. This is the aggression and anger that I have been hungry for. When the voices join together for the chorus, the song becomes literally magnificent. I really like this…….all the noise I needed and more.
Burning Brain—-Continuing is the same vein as the previous track, the second half of this release far outweighs the beginning. Sasha delivers a vocal that borders on angry dementia that brings a huge smile to my face. This is the KMFDM I wanted from the very onset. Incredible!!!
Only Lovers—-Ugh…..not at all what I wanted…..this sounds like a dated Motels song. I hate the mood shifts…..just when the band finds a groove…..than this!!!????? Just crap….
Glam, Glitz. Guts & Gore—-Ending the release much better than it started, the band delivers a scathing and blistering musical backdrop that literally blows your head off. This is aggressive….driving……forceful and full of biting vocal. I freakin’ love this song. A masterpiece this one. Leaves a great taste in my mouth.
***3/4 out of 5