So, we have just seen the release of the new PIG album and now we have the latest record from the legendary German industrial giants KMFDM.
KMFDM was founded in 1984 by Sascha Konietzko and he remains the only founding member with the original version of the band featuring drummer En Esch and singer Raymond Watts with Watts being a regular contributor to the band over the years. KMFDM is essentially an industrial rock band although this gets nowhere near describing the band, the music or the social impact that it has had. Indeed, this is now the 22nd album which is a real achievement for an anti-establishment act that can always be relied upon for a cutting political commentary on what has been happening for the last 50-years or so. This is done through bold statements, vicious satire and all with a larger-than-life persona fronting the band and desperate to change the world for the better.
The current line-up sees Konietzko providing vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards and programming with the delicious Lucia Cifarelli on vocals and keyboards, Andee Blacksugar on guitar and Andy Selway on drums and together they have produced an album that challenges just about every musical idea you have ever held. Yes, this is an industrial rock album for sure but it also includes metal, darkwave, glitter and glam, bump and grind, hip hop, punk, funk, reggae and, I kid you not, even yodelling. I know is sounds a ghastly combination and in most musicians’ hands it probably would be dreadful but Konietzko operates on a different plane to most mortals and he has melded and fused everything into an album of vital and pure genius. KMFDM is more of a revolving family than a band with musicians coming and going regularly and Hyëna includes several former musicians returning as guests with guitarist Jules Hodgson, the rapper Andrew Lindsley, keyboards from Bruce Breckenfeld with Sissy Misfit and Kumar Bent all adding to the mayhem. You never actually know what is coming next or what direction the band is going to take and this helps to make it interesting, dangerous and so utterly compelling and rewarding. In many respects, the lunatics have taken over the asylum but in these ever challenging and crazy times then who best to lead us forward into the brave new world? I was going to reference bands like The Prodigy and Nine Inch Nails but I’m not sure this works as KMFDM is a totally one-off band with no comparisons and no-equals.
If you approach this crazy, bonkers yet utterly vital album with an open mind you will have an amazing experience with music that should not exist yet it does and we are all much the richer for having this. I actually approached this record with a certain amount of trepidation as I was really expecting not to like it as industrial rock is not really my thing but Hyëna is such a cornucopia that you cannot help but be drawn into the crazy world of Sascha Konietzko.
Please do not ignore this album as to do so would be to miss out on something unique and life-affirming.
- All 4 1 (3:22)
- Rock ‘N’ Roll Monster (3:01)
- Black Hole (3:09)
- Hyëna (5:03)
- All Wrong – But Right (5:37)
- Blindface (1:40)
- Déjà Vu (1:53)
- Deluded Desperate Dangerous & Dumb (3:16)
- Immortally Yours (3:49)
- Liquor Fish & Cigarettes (4:39)
- In Dub We Trust (4:07)