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Lindemann - F&M (Album Review)

Thursday, 28 November 2019 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Photo: © Jens Koch

The concept of Lindemann should really be artistically bankrupt. Peter Tägtgren, extreme music legend and frontman of industrial metal band PAIN, essentially trots out albums’ worth of said band’s material under a different name. But with one intriguing caveat: he must grant Till Lindemann, singer of Rammstein, license to play perverted poet as payment for his name and idiosyncratic timbre.

A second reason why it’s not artistically bankrupt is because Tägtgren is in the business of writing bangers. The duo’s debut album as Lindemann, 2015’s ‘Skills In Pills’, didn’t break any boundaries. But it was fun, and Till’s first full-length in English. As such, it was the first time the majority of his fans fully experienced the peep-hole of sacred and profane he regularly grinds against.

The record’s stand-out moment, inspired by Till’s canoe journey across the sprawling Yukon river, was sandwiched between songs about aborting ungrateful children and pissing on people. Round two, ‘F & M’, returns to his mother tongue, and the subject matter isn’t quite as brazen this time out. 

Sure, Knebel’s chorus translates to ‘I like you with a gag in your mouth’, but there’s a lot of yearning, introspection and general lovey dovey stuff—as you’d expect from the man who wears his heart on his sleeve in Rammstein and has written several poetry collections. And at first glance, you could say that not much has changed for Lindemann. The first three tracks are all rump-shakers, popping like Basshunter in a bondage dungeon sponsored by Classic FM.

Till’s booming baritone is the cherry atop Tägtgren’s cake of pounding industrial, hyper-dramatic orchestral sweeps and charming, mid-2000s video game keys. In particular, Steh Auf and Allesfresser exhibit the catchiest of these three elements, the latter's heart-wrenching ‘Ich liebe dich, ich brauche dich’ line massaging the heartstrings before quickly revealing the song’s real subject matter: a man being…fed?

Across ‘F & M’, there’s a genuine willingness to fiddle with the formula. Schlaf ein is one instance where this pays off, and it’s Elton John-esque in its cinematic, piano-led grandeur—not surprising, actually, when you trace the origins of ‘F & M’ to a German theatre production Lindemann and Tägtgren were asked to soundtrack. But it’s on an industrial metal album. It’s out of place. And it works, as does Knebel’s folk-tale transition into a full-on, aggro finale.

Elsewhere, this sense of experimentation is less fruitful. Blut is pretty much a ballady PAIN B-side aiming for Depeche Mode and falling a little short; Ach so Gern’s traditional tango foundations are commendable, but the ‘proper’ metal version you can nab on the special edition works much better as a Lindemann song.

Much like its predecessor, ‘F & M’ isn’t going to set the world on fire. But it’s testament to Tägtgren’s wandering ear—this is by no means a ‘Skills In Pills’ repeat. And it’s got everything you’d want from Lindemann. You get a greatest hits of his inimitable rhyming schemes and vocalisations, alongside newer additions—watch out for his hilarious ‘Ay ay AAAAY!’ peppering the album’s title track. This is not Deathstars. Nor is it Eisbrecher, Gothminister, Megaherz—any of those industrial bands dangling from Rammstein’s coattails. This is Lindemann. They sing about gimps, death and…food, apparently.

Lindemann Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun February 23 2020 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town

Click here to compare & buy Lindemann Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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