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The Prognaut
2 stars Another live album by the band. Not as convincing and enigmatic as my all time favorite live recording "Solar Music", but it's got some sparkly moments like the ingenious parody of disco folkloric boy band "Village People" hit in "A.C.Y.M." Recorded on the road and through several cities in Germany in 1979, "Volle Molle" is a very odd piece of work.

The tenacity and disposition displayed by EROC in this album is that extremely peculiar star that made this project shine, otherwise it would've crumbled down irremediably. The intro song, "Snowflakes"; suits perfectly the original intention of the recording at all: to give and to get a nice, pleasant time by doing it and by getting to pull this off in the end.

I have to recognize that the band itself tried by all means to give away a plausible, refined work, but they kind of failed by trying so damn hard. "Rockpommel's Land" sounded just great live, the arranging and the perfect composition to make it sound off masterfully is the most dignifying gesture I have to applaud here. Maybe at the time "Volle Molle" was released, the igniting sparkle the band got from the get go with "Grobschnitt" was already expiring, slowly extinguishing. And the band got that right.

EROC put himself together during the years to come and got to produce and accomplish some projects at the time he achieved the partnership with Repertoire Records and that way, he got to make good money out of GROBSCHNITT's name by editing album versions previously unreleased like the band's debut "Grobschnitt" and "Solar Music" itself, that were remastered under license from EROC. This is a album just for completionists and devoted, sacrificed GROBSCHNITT remaining fans.

Report this review (#19597)
Posted Monday, June 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second live offering after the spectacular Sloar Music live which was interspersed with a studio album, Merry Go Round. What you don't get on Solar Music Live you get here. Grobschnitt was known to put on long theatrical shows and this is a great sampling of their late 1970's set list minus Solar Music. Very well produced the tracks were taken from various shows from the Merry Go Round tour. I would suggest the new listener to familiarize themseles with this off the wall band through their studio recordings from th 1970's. A great live album which complements the Solar Music Live LP.
Report this review (#19598)
Posted Monday, November 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars In the late Seventies and early Eighties I bough a lot of German progrock albums. This live LP has a fold out cover and the inner sleeves contain many live pictures that showcases the great atmosphere during the concerts, Grobschnitt were a amazing blend of progrock, theatre (masks, costumes) and humor, very unique!

On this album you can enjoy that humor from the very first moment but I'm afraid that only German, Austrian, Swiss and Dutch can understand that humor. They are very cynical about the impact from Coca Cola (a long and funny conversation in German on "Coke-Train-Show") and the awful 'music' from the Village People (during the song "A.C.Y.M" they sing that 'only a dead Village People is a good Village People...'!). The music on this live album is a blend of pop, rock and symphonic, ranging from mellow featuring the Mellotron or romantic pop to prog 'n' roll with fiery electric guitar and powerful organ. Very original is the track "Wuppertal punk": a swinging rhythm, a funny introduction of all the band members and a strong guitar solo, accompanied by Fender Rhodes piano. And in "Waldeslied" you hear duo-acoustic guitarplay, this sounds very warm. The highlight is a wonderful and strong 16 minutes version from their magnum opus "Rockpommel's land", in fact this is the only part of this album that contains the great progrock sound from the Seventies.

Although this is a good live album, I prefer their more symphonic sounding "Solar music live".

Report this review (#46209)
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was disappointed to find the overall rating of this live recording by one of Europe's best Progressive Rock bands hovering so near the Mendoza Line (in the game of baseball, a batting average of .200). Obviously too many fans were expecting another "Solar Music Live", which doesn't make any sense. By the same logic, this disc deserves an unconditional five-star recommendation for also not being another "Frampton Comes Alive".

In truth, I bought the CD precisely to hear what Grobschnitt sounded like on stage when they weren't performing their epic, impromptu 60+ minute jam. The answer is a more haphazard collection of songs recorded during their Autumn 1979 tour, lacking (unlike "Solar Music") the continuity of a true live performance (no two tracks are from the same gig), and further handicapped without the necessary visual element, but still an entertaining snapshot of a more or less typical Grobschnitt concert at the time.

Grobschnitt was always as much a cabaret act as it was a music group, combining oddball comedy skits and amateur theatre into their live repertoire. A lot of the humor will of course be lost to anyone (like myself) not fluent in German, but even from the wrong end of a language barrier it's still possible to appreciate their wacky vaudeville antics: just look at the inner CD sleeve photo here of the band on stage dressed in underwear and Arab turbans.

The bad news is that there's a lot of filler on the disc, at a mere 45 minutes already too brief by compact disc standards. The track "Beifall" is nothing more than 85 seconds of applause (in fairness, it was the tail end of Side One on the original vinyl LP); "Waldeslied" offers a brief exchange of stage banter and a nice but negligible acoustic guitar interlude. And the comedy skit "Coke-Train-Show" probably entertained the actors more than the audience (maybe you just had to be there).

The few actual songs are fortunately much stronger. The concert opener "Snowflakes" is a more stately English-language revision of a silly number previously heard on Eroc's second solo album. "A.C.Y.M." is a cheerful anti-disco parody of the Village People. And the mis-titled "Wuppertal Punk" is an upbeat jam marking the end of the tour (note the brief fanfare of "Taps" surfacing in the mix), allowing the band an amusing valedictory moment of introductions and farewells.

Which leaves the highlight of the entire album, and the best reason for buying it: an affectionate, slightly abbreviated version of the 20+ minute title track from their popular, YES-inspired 1977 album "Rockpommel's Land", always a fan favorite. Never mind the hackneyed, pure-Prog storyline about a lonely little boy and his fabulous giant pet bird. Stick to the music itself: a glowing slice of quintessential mid-'70s Progressive Rock, performed here with energy and style, especially during its grand finale, highlighting the mellotron dexterity of keyboardist Volker Kahrs (a.k.a. Mist).

"Volle Molle" (the title translates as "a full glass of beer", or words to that effect) is certainly not the best introduction to this unique band. But it makes a decent companion volume to the masterpiece of "Solar Music Live", presenting the other side of the schizophrenic Grobschnitt coin.

Report this review (#91888)
Posted Sunday, September 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

VOLLE MOLLE is the second live album from GROBSCHNITT released only 2 years after the fabulous SOLAR FIRE. But don't expect anything as good as their first live album. It has been recorded during the tour promoting their last studio album MERRY-GO-ROUND. GROBSCHNITT concerts were quite a unique experience as it was as much a theatrical show than a proper music performance. The musicians were wearing masks, the roadies and groupies were part of the shows that featured also lavish pyrotechnics and smoke machines.

These concerts were a lot of fun to watch with a lot of jokes (in German), good humor and there was a lot of interaction between the attendance and the band. But listening to those performances 25 years later on CD with a very basic knowledge of the German language is not really a rewarding experience, definitely not on the level if you had been part of this experience.

These GROBSCHNITT concerts do have certain similarities with some FRANK ZAPPA and his MOTHERS OF INVENTION performances regarding the fun athmosphere that reigned between the songs.But i am afraid if your German is no existent or very rusty, you might not be able to enjoy the show, especially if you don't have the visual and just have the CD to judge.You just have the pictures of the booklet to give you an idea about these shows.

VOLLE MOLLE is not SOLAR FIRE part 2; this is not a spacey journey as there are a lot of vocals and shorter songs, except for the 16 mns ROCKPOMMELS ISLAND . Also each song comes from different concerts and as such it doesn't give any unity to this live album.You will find a parody of a VILLAGE PEOPLE A.C.Y.M maybe fun to watch personally live among the attendance, but on CD that's not what i want to hear for my breakfast. The same goes for the ''fun''!!COKE-TRAIN -SHOW.

Also i have never been a ''symphonic ''GROBSCHNITT fan when they tried to be a German GENESIS, so this ROCKPOMMELS ISLAND live version even played perfectly stiil doesn't win over me, but i am sure a lot of other GROBSCHNITT aficionados will enjoy it.WUPPERTAL PUNK is my fave on the album, great rythm, great guitar,the GROBSCHNITT i like, but not much more.

VOLLE MOLLE can be a pleasant album to listen to. There is nothing really bad on it, but also nothing out of thie world. Of course, if you are German and have been part of these heroic times, VOLLE MOLLE is a 5 star album. But for me i can see only GROBSCHNITT collectors buy it.


Report this review (#144531)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This live album opens on a YMCA parody, which I can find funny. But the words after this one remind too much the nazi philosophy and really stinks : "Nür eine töte Village People ist ein gute Village People" (only a dead "Village People is a good "Village People"). Same was said about the native Indians in the US during their massacre as well as about the Jews during the holocaust. One might call it is German humour, but it is very, very questionable. Snowflakes which follows is one of the very few good musical moment form Volle Molle.

The music performed in this live set has little to do with the one from "Solar Music". Gone are those spacey anthems, those great rock sounds available only two years prior to this live album.

A useless band presentation clocking at over eight minutes is just too much ("Wuppertal Punk"). This live album is just one weak moment after another. As usual with "Grobschnit", there will be several unreleased tracks during this live album. They could have remained so to be honest. The acoustic "Waldeslied" is a great example of this pitiful exercise.

And what about "Coke-Train-Show" ? The studio version was a P.I.T.A. but was some kind of a song, this live "version" is just a talk show from a seriously drunken band sharing some "jokes" with the audience. Not a song as "Beifall".

The only piece of music which is vaguely interesting is "Rockpommel's Land" but I can't raise it to the masterpiece status since the studio version was just average and this live rendition won't be exceptional. I have never seen a weak original turn into a great live song. This one won't be different.

This live album is absolutely not famous. A rather crappy and boring one. If it weren't for "Rockpommel's Land" which I moderately appreciate, I would have rate this masquerade with one star.

Two stars. But this album is best avoided, believe me!

Report this review (#157845)
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is probably the most representative of the Grobschnitt's career. It's simply a small part of everything they done between the latest 60's till the end of the 70's. It starts with the best Grobschnitt's ballad 'Snowflakes' and closes with the extraordinary Rockpommel's Land. The last song is not the same of the studio album, but a mix between the first song and the end - guitar solo - of the last song also called Rockpommel's Land. In the middle we have good songs, the band presentation and the comedy (joke) song Coke-Train-Show.

It's a good live album, but isn't Solar Music Live. For a band with several five stars albums this live record has some disappointment moments, but it deserves three stars.

Report this review (#194392)
Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Grobschnitt had already released a live record, the famous Solar Music Live, presenting their most known track, the main dish of their concerts which lasted four hours in general. Another important part of their shows were half musical, half theatrical show routines like The Sahara Show, the Balli Balli Show etc. which were difficult to present on a record. In 1980 the band released their second live effort Volle Molle to fill this gap. A part of their show routines were presented by the road crew and in particular Rainer Loskand aka Tony Moff Mollo. The band had already dedicated one record to a roadie named Ballermann and Volle Molle is not only dedicated but features Tony Moff Mollo on a couple of tracks. The title itself Volle Molle can be loosely translated by Full speed ahead or Flat out and is also a hint to Loskand's surname Tony Moff Mollo. Tony is also the unidentified flying band-member seen on the cover. The record starts with Snowflakes the English version of their single Sonnenflug, followed by A.C.Y.M a mockery song about the then upcoming disco scene, from the Merry Go Round record. The third track presents strangely the end of the concert, using the riff from Traveling (taken from their first record) and which was and is still used today to introduce the band-members (musicians and others), including the presentation of the only "foreign worker" of the band, the Austrian Geheimrat Günstig, master of the soundboard, who delivered (and still delivers) his famous trombone solo, followed by a longer applause section. These two tracks might be a little confusing for someone who has never seen Grobschnitt in concert, but this record is obviously meant for their fans.

Side two of the vinyl starts with a then unreleased acoustic ballad in the style of Rain-time leading into the Coke Train Show featuring Lupo and Tony Moff Mollo. These show routines were often based on visuals and jokes that are hardly understandable, if you haven't seen the concert. The last track presents the Rockpommel's Land Medley, featuring Tony Moff Mollo as little Ernie, again a show element depending on visuals and combining musically Ernie's Reise and the ending of the title track. This record was obviously meant for their fans and depending on whether you have seen the band live or not this record can be a little hard to get into, but on the other hand it gives good sample of their late 70's shows.

Report this review (#204296)
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permalink

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