Review Summary: The unilateral founders of NDH return to offer another round of exceptional gems and expected duds.
If a word can describe Oomph! properly unique would probably be the correct choice. The German triplet has been on a ceaseless roll, producing a widely varying range of albums musically since their inception during the late 1980s. From the definitive NDH production Sperm to their breakout releases of Plastik, Ego, and Wahrheit oder Pflicht, Oomph! have been on the forefront with Rammstein, even if not as well known outside of Europe. Returning in 2012 they have come to offer us yet another addition to their discography with Des Wahnsinns Fette Beute , or for those who sprechen nicht Deutsch, the Fat Booty of Madness.
Immediately clear upon the first listen is that Oomph! has not lost their sound refined and solidified during and following Wahrheit oder Pflicht. Similar to Rammstein post-Mutter the attention has been shifted away from absolute aggression towards a more balanced focus on melody and hooks. Guitars lessen their impact to blend in an increasingly harmonious nature with the synth, providing a solid base hardened by solid drum work and, when noticeable, sufficient bass lines. The excesses of GlaubeLiebeTod and Monster in the form of weak tracks such as Eine Frau spricht im Schlaft have been replaced with a more conscious selection of album material, considering an average of 34 tracks was considered for this release. By attempting to focus more on the quality rather than quanity, Oomph! has managed (probably to the surprise of no one but themselves) to fashion a strong release. The single Zwei Schritte Vor and Kleinstadtboy are two of Oomph!’s better songs released as of late, using Diro’s voice to propel the track while letting the synth and guitar riffs complete the image first perfected with Augen Auf! and Träumst du? Other tracks like Such Mich Find Mich use exceptionally crafted hooks to drag the listener in, while experimentation remains engrained into the fabric of Oomph! with examples such as the surprisingly pleasant Seemannsrose, giving rise to inevitable comparisons between it and Rammstein’s Seeman.
Unfortunately for Oomph! the Rammstein comparisons will remain abundant due to the similarity between each group’s respective sounds. With Des Wahnsinns Fette Beute these comparisons will not cease as Oomph!’s latest release brings nothing new to the table. While instrumental experimentation does occur in areas (ex. the aforementioned Seemannsrose), Oomph! has not drifted from the core sound crafted during Wahrheit oder Pflicht. While nowhere near horrible, with statements released since Monster indicating wide range of musical styles being experimented with (at one point it was indicated Diro was rapping for a couple of tracks), it would have been nice to see some more ambitious offerings. Considering that a few weak tracks still remain (see Die Geister Die Ich Rief and Deine Eltern), it could have potentially livened up sections of the album that do inevitably fall flat when compared to the gems of Des Wahnsinns Fette Beute.
These small and subjective quips, however, do not lessen the main takeaway: Oomph! has not lost their staying power. The strength of the triplet has been their ability to keep pumping out good material in a genre increasingly becoming stale among competing acts, forgetting the more than occasional dud. Indeed Oomph! appears to have learned their lesson of quality over quantity from their previous two releases, which when coupled with some of the excellent tracks seen on Des Wahnsinns Fette Beute nurture the hopes for another Plastik or Wahrheit oder Pflicht in the near future. After all, if Rammstein can do it, why can’t the core founder of the NDH sound?
Zwei Schritte Vor
Such Mich Find Mich