Luke 'Loki' Milne
Celebrating thirty years on the music scene, Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, (better known as KMFDM) embarked on a set of tours during 2013 that spanned a wide number of countries, states and venues across Europe and the United States.
Just in case you were caught napping and missed their shows, the German Industrial act just released 'You Are', a live peformance album which hit online and high street stores on 9th September 2014.
It's been some time since I flirted with Industrial genres (and some truly awful synthetic dreadlocks!), but within the first few tracks I find myself settling in comfortably to enjoy KMFDM's brand of electro-rock, and I was pleased to see the inclusion of two particular favourites of mine, 'Free Your Hate' and 'Hau Ruck'.
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As is typical of KMFDM's sound, the heavily synthesised foot-stomping bass rhythms are shaken up by edgy guitar licks and thunderous beats, driving each track through with suitable force and throwing up a consuming and energised experience that will surely invoke some lounge-based foot stomping from fans and newcomers alike.
The production on 'We Are' is top-notch, with virtually nothing to be said of any poor or faltering sound quality that might serve to sully the experience, and what an experience it is. Die-hard fans and occasional dabblers alike will find themselves immersed in a history lesson with just one single topic; KMFDM's long and healthy career in Industrial music.
Many of the band's great works are included within, such as Potz Blitz, Krank and the album's thunderous finale track 'WWIII' to name but a few. The album flows easily from track to track and changes up the pace often enough to keep the listener engaged...turn it up loud enough and you might even mistake yourself as one of the crowd members of the original performance!
It must be said that while the album presents a live track list that is varied, consuming and well-executed, there isn't much featured in the way of pre- or post-song banter between band and crowd, aside from the ocassional acknowledgement of thanks. As something which I personally feel adds character to a live album, serving to showcase a band's "off-duty" personality, the lack of such material here does throw up a little disappointment for me.
It's not enough to invoke any form of dislike for the album as a whole, however; with the sheer number of tracks presented within the album, I'm not going to start moaning about "lack of content" at this point.
Yes folks, We Are presents itself as an absolutely huge album, with no less than 20 tracks to sink your teeth into. It looks as though the final four tracks ('D.I.Y', 'Anarchy', 'Megalomaniac' and 'WWIII') will be available to download separately for those purchasing a physical copy of the album, but online downloads will allow instant access to the full release. Either way, the final four tracks are worth the extra effort and with today's download speeds I'm imagining they'll be ready before the kettle's boiled.
Spanning what looks to be the highlight reel of the entire arc of a long-standing and respectable career, KMFDM delivers 'We Are' as something that feels closer to a live performance "Best of" album, painting a fantastic picture of one of Industrial music's household names. A must-have for any KMFDM fan, old or new.