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Das Bierbeben


LP version. Berlin and Hamburg-based Das Bierbeben present their third full-length release on the Shitkatapult label, which ends with the second album's (2006's Alles Fällt) first sound: the strike of a gong. Heralding a new hour or age, or maybe even impending doom, the important third album returns to its roots and proudly wears its heart on its sleeve. A simple, self-titled affair, Das Bierbeben marks the culmination of a steady development. Firmly ensconced in the context of pop history, the band churn out a deluge of faithful references, copying and recycling, mixing and reviving, cherishing and celebrating the great protest movements of (German) pop music: '70s protest folk, Ton Steine Scherben, German punk and techno find themselves joined in (un)holy matrimony. Das Bierbeben makes for easier listening than its predecessor, Alles Fällt. There is pop to be heard -- and then some: there are hooklines, choruses, sing-along segments, and heart-wrenching melodies. Spurred on by these traditional structures, Das Bierbeben tackle the German traditional song "Hochzeit" by Franz Josef Degenhardt, for which they pull out all the stops, couching apocalyptic lyrics in lullaby harmonies. A more explicit rendition of this pending apocalypse rears its head on "Nihilit" -- here, a star comes crashing down, days become night, nobody sleeps and the waters rise. Gong! If Mike Oldfield had a hand in Das Bierbeben, he would weigh in with a nod of approval. Recorded, produced and tweaked to perfection in four different studios, the band swapped plug-ins for analog synths and added live drums, guitars, marimbas, flutes, etc. With label boss Marco Haas (aka T.Raumschmiere) at the controls, the band sounds clearer, stronger, and more concise. Produced by Thies Mynther and Jan Müller, engineered by Marco Haas. The band comprises Jan Müller (Tocotronic, Dirty Dishes), Julia Wilton, Rasmus Engler (Herrenmagazin, Dirty Dishes, Gary) and new member Alexander Tsitsigias (Schrottgrenze, Saboteur, Station 17).