Hanzel Und Gretel: Für Immer – album reviewHanzel Und Gretyl ‘Für Immer’ (Metropolis Music)
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Hanzel Und Gretyl; that really is an appalling name for a band…

Apparently, and despite the Germanic name and imagery that adorns the sleeve; Hanzel Und Gretyl are in fact an American two piece industrial metal band – Kaizer Von Loopy and Vas Kallas being the pseudonyms used by the two native New York City residents neither of which are of German descent, both of whom sing predominately German lyrics; as such they are considered as the only American ‘Neue Deutsche Harte’ band of note…’Neue Deutsche Harte’ (English: New German Heart) being a micro niche that I was previously unaware of…A bit of research reveals other protagonists to include Rammstein, Die Krupps and Megaherz; but I thought Die Krupps had previously been classed by Genre Inc as an EBM outfit alongside Front 242 etc…hmm genre wars, best leave that for another time.

Back to ‘Fur Immer’ – apparently the album is remix of their 2012 ‘Born To Be Heiled’ (they really know how to name em!!) release, the entire release being reworked by ‘KyzrWolf’ which is a side project of Loopy’s – are you keeping up with this?; In essence this is the bands own remix of an earlier album by their own side project…I think.

Opener ‘More German Than German’ is mass of sequenced beats, triggered effects a mix of both German and English vocals delivered in a semi rap style, not unlike The Prodigy, but with female vocals. ‘Unterstützung 87’ is for me an attempt at ‘Headhunter’ era Front 242, and all the associated bands including Shock Corridor, Blue Eyed Christ etc – built around huge blitzkrieg drums with barked guttural German vocals low down in the mix, whilst ‘Hammerzeit’ comes across all sluty but reasons best known to itself seems to have an occasional hip hop vocal refrain dropped in…’Der Furor’ (I can’t find an English translation) seems to have been titled for the shock value, this being reinforced by the lone male German voice delivering a speech mass rally style over a sub-standard Nitzer Ebb beat; the title track of the full album ‘Born To Be Heiled’ works well, again utilising the mass voices of a suggested rally crowd.

It’s not that this album is in any way poor, there are those who will lap it up – I would suggest that certain tracks, in particular ‘Born To Be Heiled’ would work very well being hammered out of floor to ceiling speakers in a club no doubt called Tech Noir or the like, the dance floor populated by a mass of wet look PVC clad cyber goths strutting their New Rock boots; but on a damp Saturday morning in the UK it just isn’t working.

Tracklist:

1. More German than German
2. Unterstützung 87
3. Blitzkriegerz und Hellriderz
4. Hammerzeit
5. Der Furor
6. Born to be Heiled
7. Holy Shiza
8. Motorschwein
9. I’m movin’ to Deutschland
10. IronStar Outlaws

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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