It can’t be almost forty years of the Ultra Heavy Beat, can it? Seems like only yesterday we were walking over to the now defunct Avalon in Boston to see them for the first time on the Symbols tour… which, come to think of it, was almost 30 years ago at this point. So yeah, math is adding up but KMFDM is not slowing down and with their latest, and 23rd (!!!) overall, they’re continuing to prove how they lasted as long as they have.
Somewhere in one of our reviews over the years, we probably brought up our “AC/DC of Industrial” comparison meaning KMFDM has that same kind of wherewithal. While the Australian legends haven’t really gone outside the Rawk box during their tenure (Which is fine! We love AC/DC!), KMFDM is more of a known quantity in terms of new album, tour, rinse, repeat but it’s the content that continually keeps fans on their toes. In fact, let’s be real here: Every KMFDM record is an experience. Even with this more refined version of the band that’s been the standard since around 2017 (Guitarist Andee Blacksugar, Drummer Andy Selway, Vocalist Lucia Cifarelli, and Kap’n K hisself on “Bass/Beats/Synths/Vocals”), the long running outfit still inject and infect with a righteous noise with LET GO being no different in a constant flow of great music.
“LET GO” stands tall in a long line of lead off title tracks/opening aural assaults with all the fixings for an insta-classic KMFDM romp with this one bringing some Duran Duran-like guitar lines from Blacksugar amidst some major riffage and faux horns hearkening back to the early daze as Sascha Konietzko anthem-izes pretty much everything he voices behind the mic. “PUSH!” is kind of a revelation early in starting all moody-like before a huge Blacksugar chugga chugga shred comes out and the Konietzko/Cifarelli harmonies play out with Lucia’s powerful vocals taking center stage on this particular exclamatory statement followed by the suave Electro romp of “NEXT MOVE” which could easily fit anywhere on Symbols or Nihil but still sounds fresh, especially with MC Ocelot dropping some verses, twenty three albums in.
“AIRHEAD” is a fun throwback and one that highlights the magic of KMFDM with a song seemingly so simple yet clever and complex the more you listen as Cifarelli’s lush but subtle delivery in particular stands out. “TURN THE LIGHT ON” is another Funk-ified Industrial number that’s a mishmash of styles but so utterly KMFDM through and through while “TOUCH” is a Cifarelli starrer that could have easily sounded right at home on her I Am Eye solo effort with its’ New Wave/Electro flourishes but because of the collaborative nature of the KMFDM beast, is still a perfect fit for LET GO.
“ERLKÖNIG” bounces along before synth lines takes it to outer space with Sascha K steering this German-speaking ship, “WHEN THE BELL TOLLS” is ominous with isolated Cifarelli verses to start then reveals some more ’80’s influences bringing to mind Wall Of Voodoo (Because we love them and Call of the West is still the shit!) and VOWWS in terms of its’ synthetic backdrop amidst Lucia’s bombastic bark, and “TOTEM E. EGGS” gets back to the nitty gritty for a more straight forward KMFDM ripper. And to wrap it all up? Why, a trip back to 2003 and a revisit of the classic “WWIII” from the album of the same name for “WW 2023” which today is a big Reggae-infused Groove fest but no less potent in content than when initially released.
LET GO arrives on February 2nd through Metropolis Records. Pre-orders are available now and ready for you to peruse and purchase in a variety of formats when you head here. For more from KMFDM, including ALL the currently schedule live dates that feature a stop at Boston’s Royale on March 12th, follow the socials across the information superhighway when you click here, here, or here.