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Album Review

Though the liner notes don't mention it, Punkt is not a new album but instead a compilation of various tracks over two decades of Harald "Sack" Ziegler's career — being an obsessive home-tape recorder and performer, there was quite a bit to draw from. Given the rough-and-ready pop/rock he cooks up through most of the album, the best English-language comparison might be R. Stevie Moore, though Ziegler's singing is a piercing falsetto that can be downright wacky, as opening song "Lied der Königin" shows (thankfully not for every song, as the contrasting vocals on "Meine Oma" demonstrate). The vast majority of the songs are almost snippets, coming in well under two minutes running time; if Wire wouldn't necessarily have recorded them they might appreciate the brevity. The hit-and-run nature of the songs — deliver a quick, catchy chorus, let enthusiasm matter more than high-fidelity, barely stop for breath at any point — suits the compilation; one could easily randomize the running order and get the same merry results. Ziegler thankfully doesn't fall into the "pure pop" trap of so many in the world — if the digressions into reggae rhythms on "Bungalow" and "Neonlicht," among other songs, are more formal exercises, it at least shows an awareness that music didn't begin and end with the Beatles. Similarly, he happily eschews guitar on a number of songs for bizarre cut-ups to create melodies (or clattering approximations of same), while a few times he relies on a classic tried-and-trusty home organ sound, complete with muffled rhythms. Anyone looking for evidence of his work with Mouse on Mars will be disappointed here, but as a merry curiosity Punkt will find its audience.

Top Albums and Songs by Harald "Sack" Ziegler

Punkt, Harald "Sack" Ziegler
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