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A Band Named Rammstein
am 10. Juli 2002
My daughter came to me one day with an urgent request. She wanted me to buy her a CD by a German band named Rammstein. "I saw their video on MTV" she said. "Mommy, they are so cool. You have to see the video...they wear masks...and the song is good...they are so cool! They sing in German. The song is called 'Du Hast' and its on a CD called 'Sehnsucht'. Please, Mommy, please. They are so cool. I want you to listen to them. I know you'll like them."
I was impressed with her pronunciation of German and her insistence. I refused. Undaunted, several days later she approached me again, this time with the advertisement from a music club in hand and the Sehnsucht stamp ready to be affixed to the order card. Her composure and the expression on her face broke my heart and delighted me. I ordered it for her. It finally arrived.
A Few Days Later...............
The music is techno-rock, not something I usually listened to. They keyboard leads the way. The lead singing voice is baritone, my preference when I listen to an opera, at the same time reminding me of the gutteral force Sam Kinison used as he bellowed into the microphone his sorrows and woes about ex-wives and girlfriends, during his comedy acts.
Engel and Tier carry a techno high pitch with the low drum beat, and Bestrafe Mich opposes with the jungle tribal pace. Klavier is the techno ballad, and that beat is used as electronic calypso intro in Alter Mann. In Eiffersucht, the keyboard sounds harpsichord, and Kuss Mich is complete with looney-tunes sound effect: yadidayadidayadida sproioing...auf meine feuchten lippen...auch wenn es bitter schmeckt...
There I was, in my living room with my daughter's CD, kneeling in front of my portable CD player with the booklet opened to see if I could follow the text as Rammstein belted out lyrics in German. I learned Du Hast in a day. I forgot about the time and my daughter coming home from school walked in on me and laughed, well pleased with her victory. "I knew you would like them..."
There are two other versions of Sehnsucht. One has Christoph Schneider on the cover, and the two surprise English \ German versions of Engel and Du Hast are not mentioned. The other version has Till Lindemann on the cover and all the songs are listed. In the Du Hast video, the masks are Michael Myers style. The masks and the make-up on the bandmembers in the CD booklet photos give a clue to who each one is and what he does. These guys don't leave anything out.
Not in voice, not in electronic sound, not in the presentation is there a band like them. They are good. And they are uniquely Rammstein.