No one has ever taken KMFDM all that seriously. Except, perhaps, the well-meaning nincompoops who counted the band among the Nazi/Satanist pied pipers that allegedly led students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold down the dark road to Columbine. Certainly founder/sole mainstay, Sascha Konietzko--who has seen KMFDM through 18 years and a Spin¨al Tap-shaming 30 members--doesn't seem bent on the group's self-importance. And neither do their fans, most of whom understand the humor in the band's cartoonish, urban-guerrilla personas just fine. Pretty much everything about KMFDM is at least mildly humorous: their lyrics, videos, music. Their very name, Kein Mehrheit für die Mitleid (sorry, despite what rumors the band perpetuates, it doesn't stand for "Kill Mother Fuckin' Depeche Mode") is a joke--an untranslatable play on "no pity for the majority."
Still, KMFDM's jokes have always been carefully crafted, even when they seemed a bit stale. This fact makes Attak a hit of oxygen: It positively bristles with surprises. The album reveals a band reborn, from the snappy drum 'n' bass-inflected beatcraft and popwise tunesmithing on the album's opener, "Attak/Reload," to the Bowiesque "Save Me," to the sexy 303-driven "Superhero," to "Sleep," which resurrects the very Royal Burundi Drummers sample that fueled Echo and the Bunnymen, Adam and the Ants, and Bow Wow Wow two decades ago. And KMFDM's legendary lyrical goofiness remains intact, enjoying what just might be its definitive moment on "Dirty," with the lyrics "Heaven can't take me/Hell don't care/KMFDM/
Gonna take me there!"
Sure, none of what Attak has to offer is exactly new: The album stands out mainly because most industrial dance music--which slowly morphed, over the past decade, into half metal vassal, half goth fashion accessory--has recently offered all the excitement of cold microwave popcorn. The fact remains, though, that KMFDM are doing their best to reinvigorate the genre with different perspectives, different juxtapositions, and different strategies, which is a hell of a lot more than most of their peers are doing. And more important, they're making some doom-stricken goths very happy in the process.
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