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Robocop Kraus were formed in 1998 in Hersbruck, Germany. They have played more than 800 shows in clubs, squats, concert halls and on festival stages all over Europe, in the US, the UK, Japan and Russia. They have released (about) five albums on L'Age d'Or, Epitaph, Anti, Day After Records. Robocop Kraus are back! Incredibly, Smile is the first new Robo album in fifteen years. Germany's answer to "The Make Up / Franz Ferdinand / Talking Heads / The Rapture / Devo" have their own inimitable sound. How did the band manage to come up with the best album in their history, some 25 years after the debut performance in a Hersbruck youth centre? An album that leaves the anaemic, success-obsessed indie scene in its wake and one that we can already say will be among the most invigorating releases of the year, even though 2023 has only just begun. Smile is an aptly chosen title. The Robo's gallop fiercely and fearlessly through an array of musical styles and themes. No false modesty, no malice, embracing the spirit of "Innocent Fun". Not in the slightest, in an age of meticulously plotted musical paths (and life plans), such naive exuberance and inventiveness are more than just charming, they are positively subversive. Smile fizzes with impetuous energy and shines with the serenity of a band who have played over 800 gigs all over the world and yet play every single song as if their lives depended on it. "Young Man" is fueled by drums and bongos. Then comes the "Innocent Fun", a touching coming of age story, flaunting a euphoric power pop shiny suit. "On Repeat" floats on dreamy synthesizer waves before drifting into the kraut-disco. "World/Inferno" is dedicated to the group of the same name, with whom the Robo's toured Europe and the USA in the 2000s. The New York band's vocalist died last year. "Under Control" is a new wave banger that sets the emotional state of too much sentiment to music. A state which is swiftly reined in on the next track, thanks to the great rationalist Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Another highlight is the pop ballad "Cradle of Filth" which recounts an episode with the eponymous metal band on the night train to Saint Petersburg. There are flashes everywhere of that innate, idiosyncratic, unmistakable Robocop Kraus sense of humor, never ironic, never detached. On Smile, Robocop Kraus have succeeded in eluding the downward spiral that would see them end as a tiresome cult band or, perish the thought, a dusty legend. Produced by Jan Philipp Janzen (Die Sterne, Von Spar etc.)