Rammstein: Sehnsucht


Rating: 2.9

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Rammstein ridiculously plays to all the stereotypes of German culture (gothic expressionism, self loathing, masochism) that Saturday Night Live's "Sprockets" so deliciously knocked. Specifically, I'm thinking of when Woody Harrelson portrayed an East Berlin film auteur who's oeuvre included the titles "Irritant #4" and "Here Child, Finish Your Nothing!" Sehnsucht could have been good theme music to "Germany's Most Disturbing Home Videos." Lead singer, Till Lindemann, barks and rrrrolls R's in a guttural SS- officer- meets- Type- O- Negative- esque voice. This doesn't help the fact that the band has been accused of Nazi sympathies.

Musically, Rammstein is essentially Marilyn Manson with early '80s production techniques. More shock rock off the ol' block. Metal, crunchy guitars are lacquered with studio distortion to the point that they mimic alternating tones of television static. Yet, whatever bile the band may strive to is bleached out by the over- the- counter synthesizers and commercial- jingle female backing vocals. To further alienate anyone who still might be interested at this point, it's all sung "auf Deutsch."

Apparently, the gang enjoys sodomy with a flame- shooting dildo and various acts of S&M in concert. Like most shock- rockers, their act is best confined to the stage. Fans of Marilyn Manson and KMFDM might enjoy this, but to all others... well... always question a band that gets written up in Details before an accredited music magazine. Sirens blare "style over substance."

-Brent Dicrescenzo