The only thing scarier than not completely understanding the words coming out of Till Lindemann’s German sung Rammstein songs is finally being able to understand them on his latest offering, Skills In Pills, which he completely sings in English. I’ll admit to not being familiar with Peter Tagtgren’s work with Hypocrisy but his work here as co-conspirator, collaborator….whatever you’d like to label him is indisputably pure magic.
However, first single “Praise Abort” didn’t fill me with hope. Sure, it’s a fun little number rife with the filthy quirkiness you’d come to expect from the Rammstein front man but I wasn’t sold. That is, until I heard opener and title track “Skills In Pills” and my mind was put at ease. Like an industrial orchestral version of QOTSA’s “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”, Lindemann lists off all the color pills in his medicine cabinet with that tongue-in-cheek humor in check and a sonic force behind him to fully back his words.
The rest of Skills In Pills is infused with the type of crunchy industrial you’d expect from Lindemann tempered with big choruses, even bigger riffs (And this coming from someone who genuinely loves the two Richard Kruspe-fronted Emigrate records), thunderous orchestras, and synths that would make Christian Lorenz blush. That tongue-in-cheek humor is there and more prevalent….as is the filth. Speaking of, leave it to Lindemann to get your booty shaking and fans screaming along to a chorus that consists of: “Ladyboy! Ladyboy! He is my toy boy! My Ladyboy!” (On the aptly titled “Ladyboy”)
Not out there enough? Then try “Fish On” (Not a Primus cover) which is basically an innuendo-filled romp (“I got my rod/I have my spear/I’ve ready set my fishing gear/Moby’s dick is out of sight/They find my Nemo every night”). Elsewhere, “Children of the Sun” is this full on anthem and would be the perfect next single while “Cowboy” is an electrified race which would fit perfectly on an Aesthetic Perfection release if not for that unmistakable Lindemann baritone. Longing for some straight up Rammstein industrial riffing? Then “Golden Shower” and “Yukon” have your fix with their straight ahead headbanging driven wall of guitars split up by Till’s huge choruses.
Skills In Pills is out now. Purchase yours here, here, or here. And might I suggest splurging on the gorgeous vinyl which includes a full color, 28 pg booklet filled with Tagtgren and Lindemann hamming it up for the camera, lyrics, and other goodies.