Die Krupps

Album Title: 
The Machinists Of Joy
Release Date: 
Friday, October 25, 2013
Review Type: 

Unbelievable...the event which millions of Die Krupps fans had been anticipating for a decade and a half has finally happened : their favourite band finally made a follow-up full-length for their great 1997 studio album Paradise Now!

Oh well, the Düsseldorf band didn't really let its fans go cold turkey, you know! As already mentioned in the review of compilation album Too Much History – Vol. 2: The Metal Years (review by ours truly, posted 28/10/2007 and available for your scrutiny again soon, I hope – at the moment I'm not sure whàt the site is planning to do with its “Archive” section), frontman Jürgen Engler took out time for a side-project under the monicker Dkay.com (and even released albums in 2000 and 2002), and at the occasion of the band's 25th anniversary, Die Krupps not only re-issued their very first single “Wahre Arbeit, wahrer Lohn, but also did some festival appearances during 2005...which were followed by solo appearances during the same year and the one following.

The latter part of 2007 we (the fans, you know) were treated to a 12-track compilation album, bringing in remembrance some songs off the band's last 5 albums, and offering two songs which had been unreleased. The latter brought some anticipation under the fans, whom certainly hoped for a full return of the band. Now, although the band díd go on tour to play gigs all over Europe, and re-issued their classic albums Volle Kraft voraus (from 1982) and I (from 1992) in August 2008 (with addition of tons of bonus material in the form of remixes, among which even previously unreleased versions), a new full-length still was not forthcoming. Nevertheless, work on the re-issues brought the idea to have the material of the Volle Kraft voraus album re-mixed by other artists, which gave birth to the Volle Kraft Null Acht album (review, again by your servant, posted 22/02/2009). If I'm not cross-wiring my info sources, the band went on to re-issue their classic albums Stahlwerksynfonie (the debut from 1981) and II - Final Option (of 1992), and in 2010 they even released a mini-album entitled Als wären wir für immer (an event which actually went by us unnoticed, as we were never notified), consisting of completely new material. As could be expected, the mini-album jumped high into the Deutsche Alternative Charts and stayed there for several weeks. The guys also again went on an extensive European tour with old comrades Nitzer Ebb, during Spring 2011, and saw the mini-album enter the charts all over again.

The release of the new album was “announced” as one might expect from a German band with affinities in the Dance scene, through the pre-album release of a “club” single for the track “Risikofaktor”. Released already at the end of 2012, the single topped the German alternative charts (DAC) for a full month. Second single “Schmutzfabrik” topped at #2, but stayed there for 7 weeks, equaling sales with the first single. The album, evidently, went to pole position (but I am uncertain as to how long that situation was maintained, info lacking), and that's no surprise at all, for it is a killer album, you know! In fact, I had been feeling somewhat under the weather for the last couple of days, and I've been spending a lot of time in bed, coming out only for short visits to the kitchen and toilet...at which time I again pushed the “play” button on the cd-player for another run of the album. Those moments being the highlights of these past days, and therefore it was with some dread that I woke up completely refreshed today...for it meant starting this review and closing the chapter of this album for a while (invariably, there's always só much work waiting ahead that I will hardly find occasion to give this album another listen, you know!?).

Oh well, while we're at it, we might as well do a splattering job, right? So, by all means, let's state the fact that Die Krupps are back in splendid ways. The album's title is supposed to be a reference to the band's 1989 Top 10 Billboard hit “Machineries Of Joy” (a remake of the band's “Wahre Arbeit, wahrer Lohn” song off their 1981 debut album, made in collaboration with Nitzer Ebb), and therefore an indicator of a more Electronic approach towards the music, yet there's still quite some great guitar work (done by longtime guitarist Marcel Zürcher) in most of the songs. In fact, Engler (whom not only does the lead vocals but, alongside Ralf Dörper, also provides the music with synthesizer sounds and programming) also occasionally brings in some extra guitar, and in the bonus tracks (available on the limited edition of the album), there's even some references to Engler and Dörper's pre-Die Krupps affinities for the Düsseldorf Punk scene (“Panik” is a collaboration with Metal Urbain, and “Sans Fin” is one with Dernière Volonté – a third bonus track being a remix of the band's classic “Neue Helden”, done by Leather Strip). The most part of the songs are done in German, but some of them got English lyrics...and the two collaboration bonus tracks even have French lyrics (in fact, “Sans Fin” got a mixture of French, German, something resembling Russian, and English). In other words, the international community of Die Krupps fans will all be able to enoy this album to the fullest! Just in case you don't know what this band is about, or only heard about 'em as references in other band's reviews/ interviews, go check out some of the music on this album by surfing to (http://) soundcloud.com/die-krupps, where you can listen to full-length versions of the aforementioned singles, as well as of bonus track “Industrie-Maedchen”, and samples of 7 other songs (among which 3 other of the bonus tracks). Anyone having come across the band before knows what to expect, and can go get the album without even a doubt in his or her mind!

By the way, a big “thumbs down” to the label responsible who didn't even notice that the titles of the bonus tracks got mixed up in the info of the download promo of the album! I mean...talk about some truly sloppy job there, and perhaps even a show of the “respect” the label has for its bands? To end this review on a positive note, let's make The Machinists Of Joy one of our favourite albums of 2013, shall we? Of course we shall!!! Darned...even after listening to the album at least 15 times over the course of the last couple of days, I still don't get weary of the material...if that ain't a sign of classy music, I don't know what is!