KMFDM
XTORT


3.0
good

Review

by KevinKC USER (19 Reviews)
April 4th, 2012 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: KMFDM albums rarely feel rushed... that one does.

Only one year after the release of their most famous album, KMFDM released another one as if to quickly move on. Indeed Sasha Konietzko said that the success of Nihil was one of the things that lead the band to its later demise.
He also explained that, when doing Nihil, the members really took time to think about the structures of the songs and did their work a bit too seriously. On Xtort, he wanted to go back to a more spontaneous and carefree approach… and without guitar solos. (In the end there are guitar solos, but it is obvious that the room left for a second guitar was atrociously diminished).

The result is certainly one of the most frustrating of KMFDM albums. The opening track says everything. Günter Schulz gratifies the song with one of his catchiest riffs ever, (if it sounds familiar listen to “Blood” on Angst again), Sasha Konietzko’s singing is accompanied with wonderfully warm female vocals and the whole sound is KMFDM at its best. But clocking at 5m26, its simplicity renders it unbearable. The first verse lasts nearly a minute and relies on sparse singing and an oversimplistic guitar riff. The absence of ambient guitar or of a guitar solo or of any complexity of any kind whatsoever, deprives the song of a chance to grow on you. Actually, it is more like the song sounds more boring each time you give it another chance.

Most tracks display the same qualities and the same flaws. The singing is great, the sound is awesome, there are some very nice guitar riffs, some nice ultra-heavy beats but everything feels stripped to the bones and the songwriting is an insult to the other qualities.

“Craze” and “Power” are ruined by the approach with which the album was written. “Wrath” and “Inane” strangely do not sound so repetitive and have very funny parts but their lyrics are just bland. Inane’s inane lyrics could have been bearable if the instrumental part of the song was not one of the most solid on the album.
Funnier, the chorus of “Son of a gun” is somewhat spoiled by an effect on female vocals (is it flanger ?) which is not to be heard on the superior single version of the song. It is still one of the best on the album though. It’s very catchy and lively. That’s the one we like to remember Xtort by.
“Blame” and “Rules” certainly are the best songs. Although their structures are still very simple, they move on to an agreeable climax towards the end which allows the listener to actually want to listen until the end of the song. Both have a nice and warm groove to them: an ambient guitar giving a little depth to the whole thing, female vocals, horns on “Blame”, an organ solo on “Rules” and a very cool guitar riff again, and a nice chorus.
“Dogma” will please some and displease others. It actually has a very strong identity, the lyrics are very interesting although only spoken aggressively, the sadomasochistic idea behind the song is quite funny (a female dominatrix is telling the listener how despicable he is) but its peculiarity makes it hard to welcome on an album which is a bit of a shipwreck. It is the type of sidestep which is alright when the rest of the album is good.

Presented like that, Xtort really sounds like a failure, and it is, but it is not one that you want to laugh at or that you want to despise, it is an album which makes you want to go find the authors and put them back to work because what you hear is great but thrown at you with a lot of complacency. With all its flaws it is still better than the following symbols or Adios which saw the band abandon its signature sound to something… other.



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user ratings (145)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
April 4th 2012


9812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Doing a discog huh?

ThroneOfAgony
April 4th 2012


3485 Comments


I used to love this band dearly. Don't know what happened though

HeathenEarthling
April 5th 2012


93 Comments


I love this album.

KevinKC
April 5th 2012


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not exactly aiming at doing a discog. I just enjoy doing a review from time to time and KMFDM is a band I can talk about and which is totally neglected on sputnik.



"Heathenhearthling: I love this album"



Why don't you rate it then ?

Emim
April 5th 2012


35620 Comments


You need some proofreading so I won't pos or neg

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2012


6213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The review is kinda sketchy. Merge some of the paragraphs in between them at least. I don't think KMFDM is neglected around here and you keep saying the song structures are simple; the fact is KMFDM don't really have that complex structures on their songs. They are usually based on one hook or two and a really catchy chorus.

KevinKC
April 5th 2012


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, their songs are rarely complex but on Xtort they reach the point where it is really boring. I think it is very obvious on Power. Everything about it is good but when listening to it I just wait for something to happen and I yawn.



By "neglected" I meant that without my reviews, only 7 out of their 17 albums would have one. I've just written the only review for Xtort which is still one of their popular albums.

And I disagree a bit with "They are usually based on one hook or two and a really catchy chorus."

I'd say the structure of their songs is most of the time obvious but not necessarily too simple, and I've noticed that the electro part is often in depth and grows on you. So, if at first it sounds really simplistic, you slowly realise that it is actually more subtle like for "Come on go off" which I used to find boring but enjoy very much now. It is not the case for most of Xtort's songs.





insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2012


6213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, yeah, I looked it up and there are few KMDFM reviews in comparison with other bands.



I understand where you're coming from and I mostly agree with you, but the band usually seems to be on "auto-pilot", especially from Adios to Blitz (I find Blitz really good and up there with the early and mid 90s material KMFDM have released). There are some really good tracks here and there, but the rest of the early and mid 00s albums are usually just more of the same. WTF?! is great too.

Of course there are exceptions, but looking at how many albums they have released, a rather small number of songs can really take you by surprise.



Oh and btw, put the album names in between italics so that they stand out more from the tracks and the rest of the text. Pos.

KevinKC
April 5th 2012


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

When I paste my review on Sputnik, the italics disappear.

And thanks for the pos.

KevinKC
April 5th 2012


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Blitz is interesting because it felt like totally middle-of-the-road KMFDM but in the end it was a departure from the more aggressive sound of WWIII, Hau Ruck and Tohuvabohu and it was fresh, welcome and surprisingly not patchy. Strangely, I enjoy it more now that WTF?! was released. I think I was unsettled by the poppier sound.

I particularly like "Being boiled" and "Strut" and I like "Krieg" a lot.



insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2012


6213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

use [i ] and [/i ], without the space between the i and brackets, it works fine for me.

the last two albums have upped my interest in KMFDM. I love those two too, but "Bait & Switch", "Bitches" and "People Of The Lie" are equally good IMO.

KevinKC
April 5th 2012


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I was thinking about "Krank" and "Bitches" while writing about "Inane." Their lyrics are... well inane but it does not work for me on this song whereas "Bitches" is truly funny and solid and "Krank" feels like a strong track.

I think Blitz is good but I'm less a fan of the toned down guitar sound. "Never say never" and "Potz blitz" lack energy in my opinion. The guitar sound is drier on WTF?! and my ears are more easily captivated.



"Bait & Switch" is a good exemple of what I was saying earlier, its structure is totally accessible but far from atroceously simple (numerous different parts) or repetitive (6m long and it goes to the chorus only three times). "Rebels in Kontrol" too is quite incredible from that point of view, the first time you listen to it, it sounds like a horrible verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus and in the end, it is a big mess in which you only hear the chorus twice. I was convinced that the song would have bored me after two listenings but I actually enjoyed it more the more I listened to it.



And thanks for the tip about italics.





ThroneOfAgony
June 3rd 2012


3485 Comments


KMFDM can do a lot better than this. This album is boring

Supercoolguy64
January 18th 2015


11812 Comments


so where should i start with these guys?

BigBlob
January 18th 2015


5866 Comments


NIHIL

ChrimzonCanine
April 16th 2019


2080 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed

y87arrow
February 6th 2024


714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Too many choruses in every song. Crappy song writing. Good sound & production won't save the album from that.

DaveyMonsoon
March 17th 2024


1145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shout out to some random sports PS2 game I can't remember that had Son of a Gun on its soundtrack. Probably one of my favorite KMFDM songs.

Pikazilla
March 17th 2024


30446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice



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