Let Go by KMFDM

KMFDM celebrates their 40th anniversary by bringing their fans their 22nd studio album, Let Go, set for release this Friday.

The original, the OG, and the founders of Industrial music are just a few names sometimes used when referring to KMFDM. Their name was originally “Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid,“ which loosely translates to “No pity for the majority” in English. They have been making music for 40 years now. They have been in the Billboard charts and even helped give a name to notable bands like Korn and Rammstein as tour openers over the years.  Over the last 40 years, their sound has changed but with their 22nd studio album, there is a little more of a 90s flair on this than their 2022 album Hyëna. Fans from the earlier era will likely appreciate the throwback feel of this album.

Originating from Hamburg, Germany in 1984, KMFDM has seen many lineup changes over time and had many guests on their albums. Few bands have the honor of celebrating their 40th anniversary; this year Sascha “Käpt’n K” Konietzko, Lucia Cifarelli, Andy Selway, and Andee Blacksugar have that honor. They are well known around the world for their innovation as well as their eclectic mix of male and female vocals with heavy guitar and hard electronic music. They are also well known for their highly political, anti-war, anti-oppressive views, which is reflected in most of the music they produce, and Let Go is no exception.

They begin the album with the song “Let Go” which was released on social media in mid-January. The song brings back nostalgic feelings for anyone who was a big fan of the 1997 album referred to as Symbols. The second song, “Push!” will very easily translate into a super fun song to bounce with and push along to at their shows.

The third song, “Next Move,” has a heavy synthesized influence that throws in some lyrics to the beat which almost borders on post-apocalyptic dub while also touching on themes of being strategic but unpredictable. The fourth song, “Airhead,” was released in late January via a video on social media and other outlets. This song also throws in more nostalgic 90s vibes but in an uncharacteristically grunge way. It will be well-received by those who grew up in that era.

The fifth song, “Turn the Light On,” is more politically motivated, touching on many issues currently facing the world in many countries today. A particularly powerful line in the lyrics says, “The power of the people can overcome the people in power.” Then, in a turn of topics and sounds, they go into their sixth song, “Touch.” This song touches more into an 80s sound that pairs perfectly with the electronic sounds in the background of the softly sung lyrics.

The seventh song, “Erlköng,” is a lyrical line-for-line song of a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from the 1700s. There have been musical interpretations of the song, but none quite like KMFDM’s version. It would almost seem as though the whole song, especially the crescendo, is set to a 90s video game track that moves throughout the peaks and valleys of the poem which is sung in German.

The eighth song, “When the Bell Tolls,” starts off sounding like a melodic song that would be easy to float around a dance floor to but then it turns heavier and angrier and has just the right amount of angst to keep fans of the band happy. The next song, “Totem E Eggs,” likely the most guitar-heavy track of the album, also has a fast classic industrial sound.

The last lyrical song of the album, “WW 2023,” is set to a more serious tone with soundbites of former U.S. president George W Bush throughout the song. It is a wild sound of reggae meets industrial that warns of “crimes against humanity.” The last song, “Fillet Manchego Claret & Blow” is a quick fifty-second outro to the album that eases listeners out of such an adrenaline rush of an album.

Let Go feels like a major throwback to fans of the grittier industrial sounds of 90s KMFDM music, only a bit more nuanced. It almost feels like the music of a throwback video game that is set to the theme of the movie Blade, which would totally be worth playing! This whole album is very danceable and could very easily be mixed by dub and hardcore techno DJs around the world for a long time.

Let Go is released on February 2nd, 2024, on Metropolis Records.

Website  Facebook  X 

About Jessica Trail 27 Articles
Jessica is based in Hamtramck, MI. She is an engineer who is also passionate about photography and live music. When she is not researching new shows and festivals to attend she enjoys playing with her dog and rooting for her favorite sports teams.