Symptome Und Beschwerden
This is the second album by Berlin's Herpes. Herpes caused a sensation with their hit single "Fette Muttis" (trans. "Fat Mums") and the debut album Das Kommt Vom Küssen (trans. "It Comes From Kissing"). The band was even invited to the United Kingdom -- a country traditionally more skeptical about all things German -- and the legendary group Fehlfarben had them supporting during their tour. And now, Herpes is back: Symptome Und Beschwerden (trans. "Symptoms And Ailments") mixes bone-dry art school punk (Devo, Gang Of Four, early Mekons) with some mid-period Goldene Zitronen, refined here and there with clear Krautrock influences. Not the hippie-blues-rock Krautrock, of course, but rather the NEU! Krautrock. It's presented with such vehemence and naturalness, as if Herpes had never even heard a note from any of those bands (which may be the case), as if Suicide were to cover Pere Ubu. This album is both rugged and elegant at the same time. Hysteria and brevity meet and shake hands. Herpes front man Florian sings "I hate this city/which made me a man," and in his own way pays homage to the city that made Herpes so well-known with their hit "Very Berlin." As long as frustration among young people leads to albums like this, you would almost wish it upon yourself. What a nasty, a selfish thought.