Oft omitted from the bliposphere is guitar feedback, but here it comes straightaway on ?Toyota,? the first song on this decade-old band?s third full-length, hanging in the background right after the first beep-click-whir. It creates a slightly discernible melody amid the scrape, and a welcome rough texture to counteract the slick. The lyrics mean what? And does it matter? They?re gradually overwhelmed anyway by the wowa-wowa of the aforementioned feedback. Next is ?Sex Machine,? a distant, bemused parody of party funk, but then there?s that caustic guitar again, this time a whacked-out slide.
This band seems to like change-ups and convention-flouting, as on ?Tisch,? when a dirge-like melody is overtaken by seriously panicky computer noise. ?Ich Werde Euch? is faster, but no less eerie, as a live-wire tune gives way to droney half-tone explorations over a whining slide guitar. These are familiar sonic devices, mostly, but there?s a progressive ingenuity marshaling them here. I guess you can expect that from a band in which one of the members is credited (in the press release) with ?various things of metal.? ?Ich Schiesse Nich Daneben? is most typical of what used to be called ?industrial,? with its lurching beat slapping dirty, growling synths around while dudes yell about something. The synth begins to slur, up and down a filthy slope, until ?Anorak? turns the dial back to the ?gently unsettling? cycle. A warbling synth impersonates a theremin as a guitar picks out a half-remembered Pavement riff until cabaret piano bumbles in amusingly.
The last two songs form a suite of sorts, the Ex-like frenzied churn of ?Vittorio Brambilla? building, then backing away in an interlude for hazy robot chorus. Mid-song, the propulsion is lost, and the singer finds himself adrift in an unfriendly synth soup. But that merges into the redemptive ?Du Leuchtest,? a bright melody again showcasing the kitchen-sink aesthetic operating here. The beat on it is every bit the coffee-can variety as any bonky old Beat Hap knockoff, quite a ways from the forward-thinking Four-Tet-ery of the album?s beginnings. I don?t really know what this is all about, but the confusion it produces only enhances the appeal. A challenging and admirable listen. 7/10 -- Sal Addays (25 May, 2005)