Thursday 29 September 2016

Review: KMFDM – 'Rocks – Milestones Reloaded'

'Rocks – Milestones Reloaded' 

Over 30 years, nineteen full-length studio albums and, more singles than an online dating website, KMFDM are undeniably one of the industrial rock scene's constants. It's no surprise then that with a wealth of material such as this under their collective belts, that Kapt'n K and his crew would revisit some classics once again. The band are no stranger to compilation albums, having only released a substantial greatest hits a few years ago, as well as several remix collections. And while 'Rocks – Milestones Reloaded' is a combination of greatest hits and remix album, it is more than that. It's a celebration and manifesto that sees reworked classics sat alongside more recent cuts as though they were a new studio album.

Opening with the self-referencing 'KUNST' from their 2013 outing of the same name the album hits hard and fast before slinking into 'Animal Out', also from that album. Superbly remixed versions of 'Light' and 'Son Of A Gun' originally from 1993's 'Angst' and 1996's 'Xtort' respectively follow on in suitably respectful but refreshed ways. The set list hurtles back into recent history with 'Amnesia' from 'WTF?!' which flows very nicely from Chant's remix on the previous track.

The phenomenal 'A Drug Against War' then powers into life – perhaps one of KMFDM's most perfect sonic statements it is close to the middle of the album as a centrepiece. 'Professional Killer' from the 'Hau Ruck' album and '(Still) Sucks' from 'Angst' appear in remixed form courtesy of Kapt'n K, with '(Still) Sucks' getting a brilliant makeover in particular. 'Free Your Hate' from 'Hau Ruck' immediately pulls the track list back into heavier territory, before the title track of 'Tohuvabohu' ups the electronic ante once more.

'WWIII' see's Kapt'n K take the reigns for another radical makeover, while Dope Stars Inc.'s Victor Love gives 'Krank' from 'WTF!?' a stomping club mix. The album is then finished off with remixes of 'Amnesia' and 'A Drug Against War' courtesy of Marco Trentacoste, both great mixes, but it would have been nice to get a couple of different tracks in there.

The production is of the quality you'd expect, or rather demand, of a veteran unit such as KMFDM. The reworked songs sit beautifully next to the newer cuts and everything sounds fresh, modern, and powerful.

This is a very strong selection of tracks, with a bit of a bias towards newer work, however if this were the blueprint for upcoming live shows you'd not be disappointed. The only real criticism is in including 'Amnesia' and 'A Drug Against War' twice when they could have made room for a couple of other milestone tracks. But the original's and remixes both hold their own really well, so it is a tough call.

This album is probably more likely to appeal to fans who are completionists, or as a primer for those new to the band. However, as a playlist it is fun, frantic, and shows off all of the band's different faces from across a good portion, if not necessarily all of their career.  

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