Feb 2024 29

Album CoverKMFDM
Album: LET GO
Category: Industrial / Rock
Label: Metropolis Records
Release Date: 2024-02-02
Author: Ryan James (dreamXE)


Now an incredible 40 years into their career, KMFDM is long past the point of needing any sort of introduction. With nothing left to prove, the project has sported a relatively stabilized lineup since 2019’s PARADISE, eschewing the revolving door of contributors the band was once known for in favor of honing and sharpening the Ultra Heavy Beat, while still taking the occasional detour into less explored sonic space… a trend that only continues with this 23rd record, LET GO.

KMFDM has long been dependable for an opening track that kicks in the door to announce their return with authority, and the title track, “Let Go” certainly lives up to that standard, featuring the sort of tight riffs, pulsing electronics, and anthemic vocals from lead man Sascha Konietzko, topped off with some tasty synth horns in the latter half to give the track a distinctly funky finish. “Next Move” is decidedly more electronic and looser in structure, moving from heavy vocoder underpinned by throbbing bass to webs of synth and back again, with the album’s lone guest in MC Ocelot dropping in the middle of the track to deliver a dose of rhymes and wordplay that concludes with the sort of self-referential boast that KMFDM is known for; observant listeners may catch a brief guitar riff that clearly echoes “Ultra” from the 1995 classic NIHIL, manifesting as another example of conceptual continuity. Lucia Cifarelli provides lead vocals for four of the album’s tracks, and all of them find her in fine form with some different touches of flavor along the way. “Push!” and “When the Bell Tolls” favor Cifarelli’s more aggressive approach, with the former employing some deliciously funky bass to augment the hard rock tone, while the latter finds her leading with a tensed, hushed vocal before the chorus seizes the listener by the throat with her commanding, dominating banshee wail. Elsewhere, “Touch” is a much smoother, more synthesized production that has a wonderfully addictive Lucia vocal on the chorus, leaving the cut with the feel and sound of synthpop, but “Airhead” surprises with a decidedly alt. rock sound, and yet it’s the ideal template for her lyrics that seem to veer from cynical to carefree. Equally unique in composition and sound is “WW 2023,” a radical reinvention of the 2003 classic “WWIII,” trading the original’s bulldozing bombast for orchestral flourishes, horns, and a heavy dose of dub, while keeping the song’s stance against unilateral military action and anti-choice that feels just as relevant today as it did 21 years ago.

As reliable as ever, KMFDM remains a well-oiled machine that continues to deliver rock solid records aimed directly at the legion of faithful fans that have stuck with the band for so long. LET GO is crafted with skill and assembled with the industrial precision that Konietzko and crew have long since trademarked. A rallying cry established all the way back with 1999’s ADIOS comes to mind, just as authentic and accurate a whole 25 years later – “KMFDM will never stop!”
Track list:

  1. Let Go
  2. Push!
  3. Next Move
  4. Airhead
  5. Turn the Light On
  6. Touch
  7. Erlkönig
  8. When the Bell Tolls
  9. Totem E. Eggs
  10. WW 2023
  11. Fillet Manchego Claret & Blow

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Metropolis Records
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