Einsturzende Neubauten
1/2 Mensch


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
November 9th, 2009 | 20 replies | 7,637 views


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Einstürzende Neubauten is a musical force from Germany, generally billed as an avant-garde musical act working in the subgenre of industrial music. Frontman Blixa Bargeld is probably more famous nowadays for going on to form The Bad Seeds with Nick Cave, but from 1980 to present Einstürzende Neubauten has carved their own unique cult fanbase all over the world for their use of custom percussion, intense, destructive-to-the-venues-they-play-in live performances and bringing exotic, foreign textures to the table of noise music. For this they are often seen as an essential act of the genre, at least an offbeat experiment which is certainly not to be missed.

Halber Mensch, at times known as ½ Mensch which in English is supposed to mean "Half Man" is the third studio album from the group (or the fourth if you count the groups unofficial and very rare Stahlmusik instead of Kollaps as the first). It's a fairly restrained effort, there is nothing quite as maniacal as the one track with a jackhammer used as an instrument on Kollaps but it doesn't quite meet the standard of groups work in the 90's on albums such as Tabula Rasa for softer, more acoustic guitar based experimentation. Halber Mensch lies perhaps somewhere in between, but still leaning more towards the noisy, intense side of EN's earlier work. Which is a good thing.

Halber Mensch opens as a choir chant, which is awesome and all but we get to the good stuff with Yu-Gung (Futter mein Ego). The song features some slinky synth work over a hypnotic percussion loop, as Blixa chants "futter mein ego" (feed my ego) over and over eventually working up to a shout. There is a heavy German accent to their native lyrics, which is particularly pronounced during moments like Trinklied and Z.N.S. Most of the stuff here is rhythmic centered, built around the unusual custom kits the group assembles from found material with some bass hooks anchoring them, plenty of layered noise, electronic sounds and lots of repetition. Anticipation rides high on the thundering drums of Seele Brent, using plenty of silence to breath in between with some chiming keys spicing things. It builds up to a nice climax.

Sehnsucht (zitternd), Der Tod ist ein Dandy and the 9 minute long Das Schaben show the noise side of the band off a bit, with some raw, harsh compositions that are difficult to listen to but enthralling all the same. Letztes Biest (am Himmel) and Sand manage to be the two softest songs on the album, but neither hardly qualify for easy listening as the first shows a strong dark ambient influence off and the latter something of an unusual ballad sung in English accompanied by the bands trademark splatter-bang-crash sense of atmosphere.

Einstürzende Neubauten is a hard act to pin down, from the act of even learning to pronounce and remember the correct spelling of their name to the music itself, it is a challenge. Not a challenge that should be met with trepidation and disdain, mind you, rather a worthwhile effort that is worth investing your time in. They are certainly one of the more interesting cult acts to come out of the industrial and avant-garde music scenes, that's for sure.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
November 9th 2009



5524 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuBYmqK2w48

Yü-Gung (Fütter Mein Ego)

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2009



10258 Comments


3 reviews in one day not cool

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


I usually don't review for months on end so please stop complaining :]

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2009



10258 Comments


yeah but that's not really the point, it makes more sense to post one a day for like a week if you're going to do that. otherwise it pushes other people's reviews off the front page sooner than it should

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


it also pushes mine and I don't get offended

site needs less attention whores

how do you make a hormone? (don't answer that)

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2009



10258 Comments


durr

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


how do you make a hormone?


kick her in the ****

meatplow comedy hour is officially over, I hope you all had a good night there will be no refunds

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


man did I actually write that fuck I was wasted yesterday

Einstürzende Neubauten

Willie
Moderator
November 11th 2009



15877 Comments


Another good review. I haven't heard this album but Haus Der Lüge is awesome.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

RobotFrank
November 23rd 2009



344 Comments


These guys I can dig, regardless of my shallow distaste for unmelodious things. Link provided was convincing. I love their Palast der Republik dvd and really need to catch them live, should they come back around my way.

Meatplow
November 23rd 2009



5524 Comments


Indeed, this would be an act I would not pass up.

tomwaits4noman
April 13th 2010



91 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

RobotFrank if you get the chance do go see them live, they are without a doubt one of the most
impressive live bands ever.. both times I have seen them were amazing gigs, the set list for 2007 tour
was all songs off the last 3 albums so sadly no Haus der Luge. If you are living in the US they
probably will never play there again in fact alot to do with the costs of touring the States,
according to Blixa in an interview. Their last world tour was 2004.

they have are doing a European Tour details on the site
http://www.neubauten.org/

MisterSteel
December 16th 2011



453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Title track is really really creepy. Don't listen to this too often, but when I do pull it out it's always a fun listen.

AStableReference
October 7th 2012



1844 Comments


I wish I knew German, I feel like I'm missing out on an important part of this band.

YankeeDudel
December 11th 2012



9305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

intrasantay

Digging: Bedhead - WhatFunLifeWas

Typhoner
April 16th 2013



806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aah, industrial as it should be, also love the playing with the language.

Album's strangely accessible

Butkuiss
September 23rd 2013



4110 Comments


Band doesn't get aaaaany love around here wtf.

CaptainDooRight
November 11th 2013



28353 Comments


This is interesting.

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

TheSlenderMan
November 11th 2013



606 Comments


Good album indeed.

laughingman22
November 11th 2013



1363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album indeed.

Digging: Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove



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