lundi 14 juillet 2014

MY 17 BEST PUNK RECORDS FROM GERMANY SINCE 2007


  It's been quite a long time I write stuff about german punk rock in French, my fucking dirty mothertongue, but I felt it was now the right moment to express myself in the XXIst century's lingua franca. Everywhere you'll find that Germany still have some nazi characteristics and blablabla. This makes me sick. While this statement might have been true 'til the 80s, it's nowadays just plain wrong.
  I may have been born in France, but I'm mainly of germanic descent and I've always been interested in "germanic stuff" with of course the exception of  aryan race-based mystic bullshit (Are some people really believing Aryans came from Atlantis and the other sad fairy tales ?). I had several problems for being a german rock fan during my youth, but this music really spoke to me, it has some kind of soul you know, and I've never stopped to listen to it since then.
 
 Deutschpunk was all about rebellion against the system, about real rock music with guts, far from progressive tunes for dumb hippies/ hipsters, about alienation and despair but it also had this energy you can only find in punk music. And last but not least it made me be at peace with my roots. Deutschpunk washed away the guilt of being of germanic descent "some people" want us to have in order to manipulate us, but it was never nationalist and that was what I looked for. Back in the days let's call them "kids from the South" at school had the right to be proud of their former country and to openly hate France, but not me. Saying the kafir have to die, white people were all shit and should all be blamed for slavery, world wars, capitalism and colonization, and so on or that the French State is racist seemed very acceptable but listening to anarchist rock songs with some german lyrics wasn't. Fuck this retard country...

 90s and early 2000s german punk bands like Wizo, Terrorgruppe, das Untergangskommando or Rasta Knast were a ray of light in the night of my life and 80s deutschpunk bands like Chaos Z, OHL or Razzia  had all my respect for having given life to this music. So I grew up mainly with them (and naturally old rock bands singing in english as well as swedish ear-raping anarcho-punk) while all the others listened to french rap, untasty french popular songs, stupid techno, NSBM and seemed to believe every word the Socialist Party/the right wing parties told them, just like their old ones. But that's now history, I'm becoming old, and I'll have to be a part of this system I hate so much quite soon (wearing a tie, selling things to people who don't need it, be nice with fart-faces all day long, you got the picture). Before I totally sell out I wanted to share with you the recent deutschpunk records that have some sense to me and represent some kind of hope for the future, instead of gripping an AK-47 and kill as many stupid shitheads I could in the streets like some dorks did in Norway or in the US.

  You'll only find here the 16 latest crushs I had on "new" german punk bands. Some might have been formed in the 90s, but they only achieved "success" in the scene in recent  years. I neither wanted to talk about records made by old bands, even if some of them are really great (like OHL's 'Krieg der Kulturen' or Daily Terroristen's 'Tritt in den Arsch' for example), or about old bands with new names, like Wilde Zeiten or The Bottrops. I also didn't list records I listened heavily before 2008, because those early to mid-2000s records were the soundtrack of another part of my life, I feel they now belong to the past. And finally I'd like to add that Germany's home of severals good bands with english lyrics, but I barely listened to them, 'cause I wanted german words in my punk, so there'll be no english stuff  down here.


01. Denk laut oder vergiss es - Lükopodium (2007) Austria


  Let's start with a band that's not even german ! Lükopodium comes from the other side of the Alps, where lies the european civilization in its purest form, and of course those guys are singing that it really sucks. Although not really original, you've got here a good mix of both melodic 90s US skate punk and darker, more anarchist and quite depressing classic german punk influences. Austrian way of life, I love you.





02. Ihr nicht ! - No Exit (2008) East Berlin


  Capitalism is shitty, we'll all agree about it, but its main alternative, socialism is/was even shittier when you're really living in, because its lies are even more grotesque than those of the good ol' big companies. Socialism's just an everlasting working class dreams betrayal. For those reasons back in the days I felt eastern-european punk was the most hardcore sound and attitude you could find : nothing was good, everything was ...deep shit ! Those bands in the 90s heavily rejected modern western society as we know it and left-wing ideas alike, just like me, plus they had a very minimalist and raw sound. No Exit emerged from this kind of place but only convinced me with this record, nearly ten years after I discovered former GDR punk. Very-well produced, quite fresh and interesting, 90s influenced but still true to their eastern roots, No Exit managed to give me my true german punk dose in a moment I needed it.


03. Wenn ihr es so wollt -Speichelbroiss (2008) Bavaria


  Bavaria's great because it's really old school and "Old school represents" could be the motto of this band, who plays an efficient typical melodic street punk from Mitteleuropa. With bitter lyrics against conservatives, the Church but also the new-coming faith from the desert, Speichelbroiss never forget that to be punk means mainly "to be against". This dirty sound is quite addictive just like the bavarian accent the singer expose us to. For those who liked the 80s german punk classics, definitely.




04. Fixpunkte und Bojen - Supernichts (2008) Cologne


  If you liked the Ramones and all the good pop-punk bands that followed them, you'd probably fall in love with this record too. Although Germany's home of many hardcore left-wing bands, there are also some punk rock productions with melodies and a focus on daily life and feelings. The band formed in the 90s had the time to assimilate every trend in the punk field and had mixed them pretty well, without hopefully losing the right attitude. Musically speaking one of the most refined punk rock record I've heard in a while with half-sarcastic intelligent lyrics.





05. Anders oder artig - Splash (2009) I don't know !


  As a teenager and even later, I was very fond of the 'Schlachtrufe BRD' samplers who were a gold mine to find new bands and new sounds. Among those records one track was almost perfect for me : 'Halt's maul' (meaning Shut up !) by Splash, a really underrated band I still have no clue where they come from or who they are to this day. Anyway great stuff here, with a clean singing following the 90s fashion once again. The cover says it all, it's simply pure punk.





06. Tot aber lebendig - BRDigung (2010) Northern Rhine-Westfalia


  Late 2010-early 2011, I had what you could call a job who drove me insane. I had a pretty colleague who somehow played with me and it got even madder. I listened to this record again and again, with four others, in order to minor the pain. Today BRDigung's gone away from the "true" punk, following the steps of Frei.Wild and others hard rock bands mimicking the almighty Onkelz, and I'm not really following them anymore, but they made me forget her, forget my then-shitty job and kicked my ass the right way. Mixing technical heavy metal and efficient punk rock isn't an easy task but the result was great, punk as fuck and in the same time far from the three chords schemes. A sick album with also some really good lyrics who incited me more than Metallica or Iron Maiden to listen to the whole metal spectrum.



07. Propaganda - Katz Kadaver (2011)  Northern Rhine-Westfalia


  Although it's just a demo live recorded on a tape (!), with all what goes with, this LP made its way into my favorites. Playing fast and melodic tunes the way Terrorgruppe or even the early Offspring did, those old guys made the good old 90s sound alive again.  Here we have low production standards, but ass-kicking songs who'll let you dream of a next album with, how to say it right ?, a more reffined sound. This one would be fucking great.







08. Egoshooter - The Stattsmatratzen (2011) Berlin


  When Terrorgruppe split back in 2005, this marked the end of an era. Since then former-Terrorgruppe members lived their lives, before a reunion tour this year. Their singer became producer and this album is one of those weird, half-hype half-punk albums he contributed to. The Berlin girls play here some classic punk rock songs in a catchy way. Dealing with ordinary life issues their lyrics are mostly sarcastic and quite humorous but are still angry about what's ordinary life's supposed to be. Maybe the closest album in this list to the mainstream US-pop punk, but if you're into light stuff with female singers like die Parasiten or Fabulous Disaster, give this record a try, you won't regret it.

 

 

09. Gegen.Kult - Empowerment (2012) Stuttgart


  Hardcore punk is my opinion not really punk anymore. Of course the New York forefathers are great (who doesn't like a little bit of Sick of it all or Madball ?), but they gone far from the original punk ethos, having it somehow too much americanized.This said, european hardcore bands (and fans) are painful living jokes. But Empowerment impressed me with this release. For the first time of my life I heard an european band playing (mostly) correctly an entire hardcore album without those lame breakdowns we in Europe keep to play. Believe me, this was unexpected. Not very innovative but staying faithful to their american models, those germans used their language to make the sound even nastier and dirtier, spitting in the face of society and god-fanatics all together.



  10. Alles ist vergänglich - Alarmsignal (2012) Lower Saxony


  Alarmsignal was one of those bands who had some killer tracks and mostly boring songs. Not bad, but... With their 2012 release they finally hit the lights thanks to their new singer. Full of energy, not so easy to play if not technical, along with optimistic but honest anarchist lyrics each track here will give you the adrenaline peak you're searching for. The fight is not over and Alarmsignal imposed itself as one of the great bands of tomorrow.







11. Fickt euch alle -Napoleon Dynamite (2012) Dortmund


  Until now we've only seen bands who wanted to produce melodic records, but the deutschpunk nebula has another side enjoying chaos, free agression and yeah madness. Napoleon Dynamite shows the entire world what brutal, decadent, screamy, stupid hardcore punk -even more destroyed than the early Black Flag tracks- means. They have no respect for anything and with their short, angry and silly "melodies" they're not afraid to tell us all to get fucked.






12. Punk bleibt punk - Kotzreiz (2012) Berlin



  Just like the whole metal thing, deutschpunk claims it hates fashions, but is not totally immune to them. In Berlin there's even what you could call "fashion punk" bands generally producing stuff I'm not really into. Some members of the more classical electrorock band Jennifer Rostock, are part of Kotzreiz who put out maybe the best new generation deutschpunk album from 2012. Fresh, rocky but still biting and funny every song here is rather easy to listen to but keeps the right attitude far from the depressed-white-rich-kids-from-the-big-european-cities hipster bullshit. Great job, for everyone who loves the Ramones and thinks playing dark anarcho-punk is not the only way to be a punk rocker.



13. Dunkle Monologe - Wehrlos (2012) Saxony


 Once again the story started with a girl. Once again blond, nice, temperemental and who never thought the system she's part of could be plain shit. Then again what kept me sane was deutschpunk, and particularly this record. In a cathartic way those dark monologues helped me to find sleep again, put words and melodies on my then-feelings. Introspective but still bitter lyrics are matching here perfectly Oi-influenced with heavy and despaired-toned melodies filled with some kind of "no more hope" bravery.




14. III - Gottkaiser (2012) Hamburg


  Imagine Sportsfreunde Stiller, the legendary modern soft rock who achieved major success in Germany meets punk. Alright, then you'll have Gottkaiser. The result is soft punk with a melodic clean singing but with enough energy in order not to fall under a mainstream rock label. The lyrics are not so far from the regular punk ethos but with a more pop vibe, suiting well the whole.
Because even rebellion has to have a smoother side.






15. Doch - Affenmesserkampf (2013) Schlewig-Holstein


  2012 was one the best years for deutschpunk. In the other hand 2013, was quite boring, nothing that great came from Germany that year, but like every year at least one or two records made their way to my favorites playlist. Affenmesserkampf plays here a melodic post-hardcore-influenced rock carrying emotions but not too much and they kept enough anarchy to avoid the generic leftist/environmentalist or emo lame lyrics most of those bands have in common. Yeah they always kept in my mind what punk was at the beginning and have gone their own way. If you like this kind of music, be sure to check spanish-singing argentinian bands who have a close sound and are equally great, like Da-Skate or Los Ingobernables.



16. Pauli - Rantanplan (2013) Hamburg


  According to a russian band I liked back in the days "Ska-punk is for fucks !", but from time to time it can be enjoyable as a good alternative to hardcore, if you've enough of classic punk. Germany also has its own ska bands, which are almost all lamer than the american ones (almost, a few exceptions remain). Just like Alarmsignal Rantanplan were part of the game for several years but pressed their masterpiece only in 2013. I liked everything on this album from the beginning to the very end. Great lyrics, great singing, good riffs, excellent production, I recommend this record for both its punky and its more mainstream tracks. 



17. Dookie - Gedrängel (2014) Cologne


  Even if you read that deutschpunk is really THAT good all way long here, I have to admit I was also into the original british punk bands and the 90s so-called pop-punk productions like NOFX, Pennywise, The Offspring or Green Day. Those who're still labelled as commercial shit by punk ayatollahs, were the starting point for me, along with the east-european hardcorish LPs I could find back then. And I'm not the only one in this case. If you're less than 35 years old you might just like me still know by heart some songs from 1995 to let's say 2002. Those US-skate punkers made a significant part of today's punk culture. But they're goin' old and quite pathetic. It is now the right time to mock and at the same time pay tribute to them. Gedrängel had the guts to do it, and they did it well. This record reminds me why I chose punk rock when I was 16.






 

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