Einsturzende Neubauten – Alles Wiederoffen

Alles Wiederoffen, released by Germany’s Einsturzende Neubauten (EN) in 2007, celebrates the bands 27th year in existence (currently approaching 29 years, for those keeping score). Being a longtime fan of industrial/experimental/electronic, I’ve always wondered how many of these bands would age (from the early ’80’s, anyway: Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle, Foetus, et al.). Well, it seems that EN have aged gracefully; at least as gracefully as you would expect of an industrial/experimental band. And here I am, still listening to them. Old habits die hard.

If you want to hear some great industrial/experimental/electronic, check out some early EN. There are some great video clips of the band jamming in scrapyards with all kinds of oddball stuff. Hell, if you want to see some real hardcore industrial funk, check out some Fat Albert clips. Those cats could rock the scrapyard.

Alles Wiederoffen works well as an album. Intro, make a point, outro; all the while retaining a sense of continuity. And they do it in just less than an hour with 10 tracks. Very listenable from start to finish. This is important to me, because I still tend to listen to entire albums, rather than hunt and peck for single tracks. Although this disc is a little somber, it is quite laid-back and relaxing. Smooth, rolling bass lines, well constructed beats, fine use of powertools and clangy stuff, polite use of organs, strings and guitars, and Blixa Bargeld’s vocals. Wunderbar.

The album opens with “Die Wellen”(The Waves), which sets the general tone for the album. There’s a growing sense of urgency and intensity, which remains a common theme on this disc. The second track “Nagorny Karabach” has a nice, flowing bass line opening (somewhat like a soundtrack to a Western). So far, so good. The 3rd track “Weil Weil Weil” picks up the intensity and is almost anthemic with a rolling, wavelike drum track (hypnotic beat),nice, subtle industrial samples embedded in the beat and a catchy vocal hook.

The 4th track reminded me of Velvet Underground. The 5th is a slow opening ballad; rather catchy vocals. Track 6 is a bit more upbeat (paying homage to the Dadaist movement); more urgent and industrial than previous tracks. Track number 7 “Alles Wieder Offen” (title track), is more upbeat, owning a great percussion track.

The last three tracks slow the pace and wind up with a nice closing piece. Although I liked elements of each song, not one actually reached out and grabbed me (except for maybe “Weil Weil Weil”). As I have stated, the album works well as a whole, and holds its value as a CD, as opposed to selected track downloads.

Overall, this album is not likely going to change your life. However, it is a fine release from a great band.

To learn more, visit the band’s website, or the album’s website. The blog portion of the album’s website offers Podcasts of some of the album’s tracks.
You can also check them out on Myspace.
Einsturzende Neubaten \"Alles Wiederoffen\"
Einsturzende Neubaten \"Weil Weil Weil\"

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