Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Einstürzende Neubauten
Kalte Sterne, Tabula Rasa

Band names are shit. Think of your favourite band. What is it with that name? When you really get down to it, what the fuck is it supposed to mean? What does it say about the band? What does it say about their music? All too often, the answer is nothing, nothing at all. This is where German bands tend to have the advantage. Kraftwerk, Neu, Einstürzende Neubauten. All three names say as much about the band as the music itself.

Translated, more or less literally, Einstürzende Neubauten means knocking down new buildings. Colloquially, it refers to the knocking down of high-rise flats of the type erected in the housing boom of the 60s and 70s. The type of multi-storey prefab shit holes that you find in new towns across Europe. Heavy-duty construction turned back into destruction, and that’s exactly what Einstürzende how sound.

‘Kalte Sterne’ compiles the abrasive primal pounding rhythms and clanging guitars of their early (1980-82) singles, laden with the sound of power drills rasping metal. ‘Tabula Rosa’ (originally released in 1993), a far less punishing listen, sees them honing their electro-industrial beating into more traditionally-structured songs while exploiting Blixa Bargeld’s Bad Seeds connection to bring in Nick Cave’s former muse and paramour, Anita Lane, to provide the feminine touch.

So, to summarise, the Germans – good at band names, not currently so good at football.

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