Die Toten Hosen

In Aller Stille

Written by: TL on 08/01/2009 00:27:13

Now if you live anywhere near Germany or are in some other way exposed to German culture, you really really should know about Die Toten Hosen (The Dead Trousers - but the expression means "impotent" or something similar), since they are pretty much the biggest German-singing rock band to ever exist (I'm ignoring Rammstein on purpose). If you haven't however, let me just ask you this one question: Do you like bands like Against Me, The Lawrence Arm and Rise Against? Stupid question, of course you do, otherwise what the hell are you doing here? But would you like them if they sang in German? If you can still answer yes, then that's really all you need to know, and you can go get "In Aller Stille" right away, no need to read the review really.

Anyway, for those that do already know something about the band or are just a bit more curious, let's just talk about this particular album for a bit anyway. Since their debut back in 83, Die Toten Hosen have released a staggering 21 albums, and as to fortify the notion that they could be any punk-rocker's favourite band, they haven't changed a bit soundwise through all that time - not to my knowledge at least, but I'll admit that I couldn't be bothered to check out all of them. While the sound's more or less the same though, lyrically the band has of course gotten older, and thus the content has changed from humorous, over socially angry into thoughtful. That's neither good nor bad though, because Die 'Hosen seem to be capable of putting up the stuff regardless.

The album kicks off with "Strom" and "Innen Alles Neu", both underlining that these guys are grandmasters within the style of energetic and raw punkrock. Purposefully raw that is, since a band this experienced have obviously learnt their lessons about production values long ago, so everything sounds both raw AND perfect at the same time. Songs like the two are obviously the core of the band's sound, and as such they work like clockwork. However, DTH are smarter than as to just give you the same song 13 times on this record, and as such "Disco" opens the batch of variations that are littered across the album between the standard punk tracks, standing out with fitting 'disco' elements, that still don't ever come close to selling out the song, and a stupidly catchy chorus. More punk follows on "Teil Von Mir" ("Part Of Me"), still awesome, and then it's time for "Auflösen" ("Dissolve") a duet featuring female vocals and taking on a minimalist German-tango style. Very smooth boys. By tracks six and seven we're again given more punk, only here these songs are clearly the most refined of the kind, and as such "Leben Ist Tötlich" and "Ertrinken" ("Living Is Deadly" and "Drinks") will be the songs from the album that are most likely to rock my socks in the future.

Both in terms of style and structure, the remainder of the album goes on the same as this, with "Alles Was War", "Wir Bleiben Stumm" and "Tauschen Gegen Dich" ("All That Was", "We Become Mute" and "Trading For You") breaking in between the full on punk tracks. Unfortunately, these slower songs don't work quite as well as "Disco" and "Auflösen" as the slower and overly dramatic feel doesn't fit the band as well as the angry tongue-in-cheek tracks. Be that as it may though, "In Aller Stille" is an album by a band that has methodically ironed out all flaws and failure through an unwavering tide of releases, managing not to lose their energy, their concentration or their sense for good melody on the way. So unless the small fact that everything's in German turns you off, then there's really no reason not to like this.

8

Download: Leben Ist Tötlich, Ertrinken, Disco
For The Fans Of: The Lawrence Arms, Against Me, Rise Against
Listen: myspace.com/dietotenhosen

Release Date 14.11.2008
JKP Records

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