Like some polo-necked strain of herpes, those pesky German industrialists never go away....
Like some polo-necked strain of herpes, those pesky German industrialists never go away. ‘Silence Is Sexy’ is Einst|rzende Neubauten‘s way of celebrating their 20th anniversary of extended metaphors and pipe-banging. Two decades of their legacy being appropriated, then surpassed, by Teutonic experiments in techno, post-rock, Digital Hardcore and so forth.
Doubtless it’s all done to fuel the artistic muse, though, so any suggestions that Blixa Bargeld should give the whole enterprise a rest and stick with his more profitable employment as a Bad Seed are pointless. But when plodding opener ‘Sabrina’ Xeroxes Nick Cave minus the humour, and the title track constructs itself around long passages of – oh, you kill us – silence, it’s like the last ten years never happened. That, incidentally, is in no way a compliment.
Mercifully, they seem to have realised that their installation-friendly skronking hasn’t a hope of sounding genuinely [I]extreme[/I] in a post-ATR musical landscape. The clanky curio ‘Zampano’, pop frippery by their standards, takes centre stage for a while but a final 18-minute howler takes us right back into the Dark Ages. It’s called ‘Pelikanol’, it gets a CD to itself, and it’s the same dour sheet-metal arse they’ve been boring us with for years. By the time it finishes, that album title will contain more wisdom than Einst|rzende Neubauten‘s entire career.