Let’s smash on some steel-drums.

It’s time to go German and Industrial and early 90s.
While I’m not generally a fan of mainstream German music, I mostly really like non-mainstream German music. Perhaps because they often seem to share my tastes in OTHER music and so produce stuff that I really love to listen to (And One, Deine Lakaien, Die Krupps, Corvus Corax, In Extremo, Svbway to Sally, Blind Guardian, Sodom… The list goes on and on and on!).

Today it’s about Die Krupps and their wonderful album “Die Krupps II: The Final Option”. An eleven track album of which I utterly love six tracks and find the remaining five actively positive. That doesn’t happen often. There are Depeche Mode albums with worse track records!

But first, get a load of this.

Die Krupps – To The Hilt [Die Krupps II: The Final Options] | 1993 | Industrial Metal (Which is weird, as it sounds more like rock to my ears…)

[expand title=”Lyrics”]woke up – still in a dream
nothing’s the same
con’t pronounce my name
i open my mouth
words come out
that make no sense
for a stranger’s ear
in a foreign language
in a foreign land
now i’m a alien
on a different planet
it makes it clear – i understand
we are all strangers – in a foreign land

burn the bridges
forge ahead
to the hilt

back home i feel insane
nothing’s the same
except for my name
i open my mouth
words come out
that makes no sense
for my lover’s ear
in my native language
in my native land
i’m still the alien
on a different planet
it make it clear – i understand
i am a stranger – in my own land

burn the bridges
forge ahead
to the hilt [/expand]

This song… Is filled with memories for me. One of my favourite songs out there, still.
When I listened to it just now, I immediately smelled Patchouli and thought of Mead and great company. Why, I’ll tell you later.

I love how the guitar riffs play with the industrial drums and the tribal melodic insertions. (As well as the Captain Future sound sample.)
I also like the lyrics. The whole album was filled with ideas that formed, I think. Highly critical of Germany’s history and (then) current socio-political situation. Die Krupps are a dedicated anti-Nazi/anti-right-wing act and used their music as an outlet for this nearly from the start. They took their name to snub the industrialists we all love so much and they sung in German and English about issues that certain right-wing elements considered (and perhaps still consider) important back then (Listen to “Fatherland” or the even earlier, 80s based, “Wahre Arbeit, Wahrer Lohn”. Or, hell, “Germaniac”!).

They took it seriously, and they still do. And for that, I love them.

And this song, coupled with this video, is both a message as well as a testament to the 90s. German alternative bands in the early 90s had a certain style to their music-videos that was… No, not unique. That’s the wrong word. But look at early H-Blocks (“Risin’ High”) videos. The very first Guano Apes (“Open Your Eyes”) videos. And then watch “Here Comes The Pain” by the Farmer Boys, which is a spiritual descendant of those artists and their “style”. It was telling a story, mostly told by someone high on acid, while still keeping the band in-view and use grungy (visually, not musically!) effects to stylize the video itself. Contrast this with something like Lenny Krevitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” video I posted earlier. For some reason, there are a few Britpop videos that match this German-Alternative style quite well, though.

Anyway, I’m rambling! Point being: The band AND this song are an integral part of the German 90s Goth (used as a greater umbrella term this time) scene. Politically aware, mixing influences, not edgy just to be edgy and with weird-ass music videos. (Remember those days? When non RnB/Rap acts made music videos? And they were big hits? And you could actually watch them on TV? Yeah, I miss those too…)

And this song…
It was one of the songs that a place that was very special to me played very often during the nights I was there. A bar called “Die Taverne”. At that bar I had it all… Gothic night, Industrial night, Metal Fridays Vampire LARP, Medieval weekends with authentic cooking all in a very fitting atmosphere. I spend quite a few nights there. Talking with friends, having fun, being in the LARP and pissing off the Primogen and Prince. Also… With two very special friends of mine, at different times. Both ladies that I could introduce to this bar and make them love it. We’d just sit at our table (I knew the owner and actually really had something to call “My Table”… I miss that, too!), sip mead (or coke when we had to drive) and talk. Sometimes for hours on end. Just… Sitting there. Enjoying the atmosphere. Meeting friends who’d drift off to other tables and drift back in different mixes, eating weird, wonderful snacks, drinking really good drinks and talk. There are some very special Christmas 2002 and Autumn 2003 memories for me at that bar. Memories I’d actually call “magical”. Simply because atmosphere and company fit so very well together and helped me with, then, serious issues.

So, tonight I raise a glass of my best mead to that bar, that times, that music and those people.

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