KMFDM
WTF?!


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 27th, 2011 | 62 replies | 18,825 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: KMFDM have finally taken the band off of autopilot and return with a diverse album that maintains their core industrial sound while finally expanding on it as well.

Eighteen years ago KMFDM opened their new album with the line, “KMFDM, doing it again,” even though that particular release – Angst – was actually a big step forward for the band. In fact, it is generally accepted that it was Angst that truly solidified the band’s musical formula for years to come. Sure, the songwriting wasn’t perfected until the follow-up release, Nihil, but that album was still just working from the blueprint established by Angst. From that point forward any of their songs could have warned that KMFDM were simply doing it again, and fans could have just shrugged in reluctant agreement. By the time Blitz was released in 2009 it seemed pretty obvious that the band had no intention of fixing a sound that was, honestly, never really broke, but that was two years ago. It turns out that the guys (and girl) in KMFDM were finally ready to make some changes to their signature sound and the result is WTF?!. KMFDM have returned with an album that is much more dark and angry than anything they’ve done previously. They’ve also stepped outside of their comfort zone by crafting songs that make better use of guitars and electronics while also opening up to a little experimentation.

Those that have heard the album’s first single, “Krank”, might be wondering what part of that song is dark, aggressive or experimental, and the truth is that it isn’t any of those things. “Krank” is your average KMFDM-patented collection of self-referencing one-liners delivered over a basic riff and looped beat and nothing more; it is certainly not representative of the album as a whole. Beginning with the second song, though, the album takes a turn for the better. “Come On – Go Off” begins with a lone droning synth that eventually gives way to a thumping beat and heavy riff courtesy of Static-X guitarist Koichi Fukuda. These elements are augmented by ominous synths, a handful of transitional sections and the gritty vocals that fans would expect. What they might not expect are the clean vocals, twisted piano and melodic synths of “Lynchmob” – in addition to its shredding guitar riff and powerful vocal shouts. They also might not expect such a dissonant vocal performance from Lucia Cifarelli on the funky, yet aggressive, “Rebels in Kontrol”. In fact, there are plenty of instances that could surprise the jaded long-time KMFDM fan.

For one, this is easily one of KMFDM’s most diverse albums – an album that twists and turns through an abundance of different styles and moods while still retaining that core sound. It’s an album that can transition from the Garbage-like synth-pop of “Take it Like a Man” to the beat/riff heavy “Vive La Mort” without skipping a beat. There’s the surprising darkwave/electro style of “Spectre” to the trance-rock of “Amnesia”, and let’s not even try to put the twisted “Death and Burial of C.R.” into words. Part of this album’s diversity comes from the fact that Lucia Cifarelli seems to get more vocal time here than on any previous KMFDM album. She fulfills her role as backing vocalist on almost every track, but she is also the main vocalist on just about every other song. In addition, Sascha Konietzko has varied his vocals quite a bit; from spoken word to gritty shouts and even a little dose of Ohgr-style effects-laden delivery. The best thing is that even though just about every track is unique enough to fill its own little niche on the album, at the end of the day every song is still unequivocally KMFDM.

It has been a long time since KMFDM sounded this good and energized. They’ve come back from years of being on autopilot with a diverse album that can move from dark aggression to trashy electro-pop goodness without sounding forced or unfocused. They’ve also let Lucia Cifarelli take on a much larger vocal role which may or may not delight fans (depending on your opinion of her). Overall, the biggest highlight is that on WTF?! the guys (and girl) in KMFDM sound like they’re actually invested in making new music that maintains the core sound while finally moving beyond it as well. Welcome back from at least a decade of sleepwalking.



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user ratings (53)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
KevinKC (3.5)
A reassuring album which makes us realise how much we had lost faith in the band....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
April 27th 2011



9511 Comments


Can't wait to hear this spinning on the local turn tables, it sounds like a pretty good album. Will have to listen in the morning, excited to hear this.

Digging: Ayria - Hearts for Bullets

Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2011



15778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was definitely surprised. Especially after hearing the first single.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Dummit
April 27th 2011



333 Comments


KMFDM Sucks

;P

crazyblinddude
April 27th 2011



3389 Comments


Nice review Willie. Glad to see that this won't disappoint. I'm definitely going to check this out now.

KevinKC
April 27th 2011



172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ah ah, happy to read this. The samples on youtube had given me this idea they were at least trying something different. I've ordered it and am a bit impatient now.
From what you say about Angst and Nihil, I do prefer bad songwriting to good.

Willie
Moderator
April 27th 2011



15778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

From what you say about Angst and Nihil, I do prefer bad songwriting to good.
What do you mean? Do you not like those two albums?

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2011



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Gonna check this out. Never been big on KMFDM but this sounds quite interesting.

bloc
April 27th 2011



34499 Comments


BOOOOOOOOOO!

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Tyrael
April 27th 2011



20440 Comments


I have always had a soft for these guys. Nice review!

Departures
April 27th 2011



862 Comments


These guys are alright.

captaincrunch11
April 27th 2011



1194 Comments


These guys are great faggot

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2011



20247 Comments


Haven't they released about 20 albums or something?

Digging: YG - My Krazy Life

Meatplow
April 27th 2011



5524 Comments


eh, I don't have high hopes

I might listen to this though, just for the hell of it

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2011



7012 Comments


Solid writing Willie. Can't say it's my thing though. Still, if the opportunity arises for a listen I'll be sure to get through it just for you ;)

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Meatplow
April 27th 2011



5524 Comments


wow I didn't expect it to be this bad

sorry Willie, just not feeling it. at best you are right in that they are trying something different on sonically at times, and it is interesting. at worst though.... ugh.

nothing feels cohesive and I don't feel a renewed sense energy at all, more like a lot of flat ideas hiding behind a vibrant production. my main complaint with a lot of their later work

in all fairness i'll give it another listen though just to see if it grows on me. I often find I write off industrial metal albums only to return to them months later and wonder what the hell I was thinking

KevinKC
April 27th 2011



172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"From what you say about Angst and Nihil, I do prefer bad songwriting to good."
"What do you mean? Do you not like those two albums?"

I do like them, I was just a bit disappointed when I listened to Nihil that the songs' structure was so predictable (for an album which was supposed to be their best). I think I like when the structure of a song is a bit random like on Angst.
But yeah, I'm not saying Nihil isn't good. It is great.

Raaaa Meatplow is the harsh one again. Both your opinions seem believable guys, the stupid fan that I am is worried now.


Meatplow
April 27th 2011



5524 Comments


I kind of like parts of it the more I skim through it, in fact the songs I found most annoying (Rebels In Kontrol and Take It Like a Man) I kind of enjoy now. I can't stand the quieter parts of Lynchmob, though the chorus is powerful. those guitars are carving

this is really hard to decide, it has me scratching my head. it's definitely better than some of their other work. the production is great, as I mentioned, but something is just off. i'll bump it to a 2.5 for now

Meatplow
April 27th 2011



5524 Comments


BLOOD!!!!!
BLOOD!!!!!
BLOOD LIKE RAIN!!!!!


BallsToTheWall
April 27th 2011



44164 Comments


Just gonna 4 this without hearing beforehand.

TheSpirit
April 27th 2011



16666 Comments


my friend faps to these guys like it's his job but i never really got the hype

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger



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