'Skills In Pills'
WARNER MUSIC GROUP
The coming together of the musical maestro behind Hypocrisy and Pain, and the vocalist and lyricist of Rammstein was always going to yield interesting results. Peter Tägtgren's blend of addictive industrial metal that he perfected over the years under the Pain moniker melds perfectly with the twisted humour of Till Lindemann who now treats, or subjects, his audience (depending on your position) to every filthy lyric in English. With Rammstein Till has used English sparingly, usually for comedic effect in songs such as 'America' and 'Pussy', but with his Lindemann project he drops the veil for the non-German speaking world to finally hear.
With track titles like 'Ladyboy', 'Fat', 'Golden Shower', and 'Praise Abort' there are plenty of clues as to what the pair have in store. But the album has much more depth than the novel titles and Till's full on Anglicised vocal performance.
Musically the album calls heavily on Pain albums such as 'Psalms Of Extinction' and 'Cynic Paradise' with its hard, memorable riffs and industrial meets symphonic synthpop electronics. All the while Till Lindemann's distinctive vocals power through the tracks to whip up huge sing-a-long choruses. It's a combination that simply works.
Tracks such as 'Skills In Pills', 'Ladyboy', 'Fat', 'Children Of The Sun', 'Praise Abort' provide the album with its best heavy rocking and most dance-friendly moments. While the likes of 'Home Sweet Home', 'Yukon', and 'That's My Heart' present themselves as twisted, heavy power ballads that add a softer edge to the album and display the true depths of the collaboration.
It's well produced and well mixed and continues the kind of high quality we've come to expect from the duos other projects. Again, drawing very strongly from the execution of his Pain albums, there is a nice balance between the heavy guitars, lusciously layered electronics and the deep, powerful vocals.
Hardened Rammstein and Pain fans should find plenty here to get their teeth into, though casual listeners may be turned off by Till's explicit use of English, or perhaps the strong musical resemblance to Pain rather than something drastically different. However, that's not really the point of the album. It's dirty, it's fun and it's most certainly memorable. And with news that another album is already in the works it looks like the duo are going to be more than a one time deal, though it would be nice if they would capitalise on this with some live dates as well.