On Living Targets, Beatsteaks remind me how much I love music. This album is a series of punches from the top of your face to a kick in your ass. Buzzsaw guitars and a rumbling rhythm section will set your heart a jumping. The album opens up with the maelstrom of “Not Ready to Rock,” with a clever line about Vaseline. Any time a band can work in a reference to a personal lubrication product, you know it’s gonna be a great album. From there, the band doesn’t let up. Their sound straddles the lines between Ramones-inspired sing-alongs (“God Knows”) to Hellacopters-cum-Stooges-inspired madness (“Above Us”).
As a testament to their musical proficiency and prowess, unless you were to open up the inlay card or visit their Web site, you would not realize that the Beatsteaks are a German band. The lyrics are all sung in English and what little German accent may be detected in lead singer, Arnim Teutoburg-Weir’s voice only comes across as fine tuned rock and roll malevolence. The band only slows down a bit on the low key, Joy Division-by-way-of-Radiohead track, “Disconnected.” It is a good track, and one I am glad they didn’t feel the need to screw up with the tired cliché of soft-loud-soft melody.
Beatsteaks: a synonym for incredibly good music. If you are tired of the hype going around with so many of the current alt-rockers, check out “Living Targets.” On this release, Beatsteaks, unlike so many of the acts around, don’t fail to deliver.
Epitaph Records: http://www.epitaph.com