What Do You Know America? Just as you kids were starting to catch on, it’s time to say farewell to one of the pioneers of industrial music. You only had about 15 years to discover them. My first contact came in late-’89/early-’90, with their third album, UAIOE . I was probably 17 at the time, and was just entering the world of Skinny Puppy and early My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. They were the glory days of Wax Trax. One could purchase an album, that’s right, a-l-b-u-m, on the Wax Trax label, and pretty much rest assured it would be cool. With 11 full-length discs, countless singles, T-shirts, stickers, and videos, these guys put out more product than any band I can think of. Not to mention all the other projects they had their hands in, from Pigface to Excessive Force.
To clear the record once and for all, despite what you’ve heard, whether it’s Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode or Keep Madonna From Doing Music, KMFDM stands for Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid, “No Pity For the Majority.” That is a stance they have stood by through their long and influential career. People say, “who the fuck are KMFDM?” while wearing a Nine Inch Nails shirt. Trent Reznor, by his own admission, had stated that if it weren’t for KMFDM and Skinny Puppy, there would never have been a Nine Inch Nails.
So now its Adios , and I feel they have saved one of the best for last. Oddly missing is the presence of Raymond Watts, former band member, long time collaborator, and front man of Pig. Tim Skold, however, who was on the roster last time around, is a participating writer of every song. Also joining the ranks for this finale are Nina Hagen, Bill Rieflin, and, thankfully, Ogre.
This is no sentimental good-bye, though. The disc kicks off with “Adios”, where Sascha tells us “I don’t want to be no part in this/ Burnt all my bridges, closed my heart/ I don’t want to be a part NO MORE.” The next track, “Sycophant,” momentarily brings us ten years back to “Ganja Rock,” before picking up the pace. “D.I.Y.” is pure angry thrashing KMFDM. “Today” is a great tuneful track that spotlights Skold’s softer tone. “Witness” belongs purely to Nina Hagen, and is a standout. “R U O.K.?” is more Skold. Ahh, but then here comes the Ogre tracks. As if “That’s All” doesn’t quench your old puppy thirst enough, “Full Worm Garden” is masterpiece far better than anything on his Ritalin project. We thrash it up a couple more times for the record with “Rubicon” and “Bereit”, and that’s all she wrote.
If this is truly the end of KMFDM, than it is a mournful thing. All you hardcores can scoff as much as you like. It’s like Elvis and rock ‘n roll. The thousands of industrial bands out there today would never have existed without KMFDM. So long guys. Never again will there be another band that used their own name so many times in their songs. Hopefully, all the fans will remember everyday to Rip the System, and Govern Their Souls…I know I will.
Wax Trax! Records, 1657 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647