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Uber Alles

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Album Review

Now, these two do know how funny they are, right? Really, one must assume that they do, because the alternative assumption — that the lederhosen, the affected German accents, and the tasteless flirtations with Nazi themes are actually meant as some kind of serious musical or cultural statement — is simply too horrible to contemplate. Luckily, song titles like "S.S. Deathstar Supergalactik," "Mein Kommandant," and, most painful of all, "Third Reich from the Sun" make it pretty clear that they are dealing in a sort of high-camp make-believe here. (They're obviously only pretending to be German — actual Germans would know how to pronounce the word "über.") Close your eyes and go along with the charade, though, and you'll find yourself caught up in the music, which is a genuinely well-thought-out fusion of techno and industrial sounds with lots of guitars and tight, crunchy beats. The songs are densely constructed but not claustrophobic, and on tracks like "Transplutonian Annihilation" and the almost funky "Mein Kommandant" their combination of thick guitar textures, sharp drumming, and surprising world music influences (a faux sitar here, a sampled ululation there) is really pretty compelling. If they'd just outgrow the leather-fetish Nazi stuff, Hanzel und Gretyl could probably go places.

Biography

Formed: 1993

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Though based in New York, Hanzel Und Gretyl sing their trance/industrial tracks mostly in German. After forming from the ashes of several other Big Apple industrial bands — with a lineup including programmer and guitarist Lupia, vocalist Vas Kallas, bassist Ginger Bread and drummer Pat Wolff — Hanzel Und Gretyl appeared on a compilation called COP International Chaos. New York's Energy Records became interested and signed the band for their debut album, Ausgeflippt, released in late...
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Uber Alles, Hanzel und Gretyl
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