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Birth Control - Rebirth CD (album) cover


Birth Control

Heavy Prog

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5 stars Together with "Hoodoo Man" this album marks the peak in the career of the german Krautrock-pioneers BirthControl. THIS IS HIGH-CLASS-PROGRESSIVE ROCK, without any filler on the album. Each track has specific characteristics: First of all, we have the organ-dominated opening number "She´s got nothing on you", that reminds me of Deep Purple, then the trumpet&trombone on "Mr. Hero", played by multiinstrumentalist Zeus B. Held, contributing to a fuller (jazz-oriented) sound. This jazzrock-style returns on "No Shade Is Real". The acoustic "Grandjeanville" and the Zeus B. Held "mini"-instrumental "M.P.C." give even more relief to REBIRTH, but with "Together Alone Tonight" we have not only reached the highlight of this album, but the finest piece of music by BirthControl -according to my opinion- even greater than "Gamma Ray". The closing number "Back To Hell" shows drummer Bernd Noske at its best, his drum solo decorated with well-placed synthie-effects. After all, what other rating should be possible than 5 stars!
Report this review (#28905)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars A massive overhaul in the lineup this time round, with not only a new keys player (Bernd "Zeus B." Held) but also a new singing bass player (Peter Föller) and, in addition, a second lead guitarist (Dirk Steffens). True to form this was a transitional release, with the band resisting the recent prog-rock developments of HOODOO MAN, opting instead for a more pedestrian boogie-rock approach that brings to mind Grand Funk Railroad, Uriah Heep or ZZTop. On the plus side, this is fine for Peter Föller, whose gruff, bluesy voice is well-suited to this type of material. On the minus side, it feels like a big step backwards artistically speaking.

The only diversions from the straight-ahead guitar-rock style are the two short instrumentals-Steffens' acoustic guitar spotlight piece "Grandjeanville" and Held's jazzy and mellow "M.P.C."-and "Back From Hell". The latter is more or less in the progressive hard-rock style of HOODOO MAN, and is easily the highlight of the album. I could have done without the extended drum solo, though, Moog-drum or no Moog-drum.

Easily the least interesting of their early albums. Get HOODOO MAN first from this era, and this one last (if you must).

Report this review (#44971)
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A much underrated album. It not only contains the all-time stage favourites 'Back from hell' and 'She's got nothing on you' but also great songs like 'No shade is real' (my personal B.C. favourite) an 'Mr. Hero' (with a brass arrangement which works surprisingly well). Apart from 'Hoodoo Man' and the first side from 'Operation' this album is for sure B.C.'s best studio offering.
Report this review (#57014)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars REALLY: 4,11 (VERY GOOD BUY! Excellent addition in your discography!)

Good album. Too Americam. And this to the end is a big merit. Why from that originality that does not ruin. It admit to have bought this album for "She's Got Nothing On You" that I listened to varied times on the radio station of the NATO base of Aviano (Pordenone, Italy). But I should say that almost all of the album is to the same levels (except for in "Together Alone Tonight", too long). However it is seen it... A big album. And to improved with time.

Report this review (#65442)
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Rebirth" is usually overshadowed by its predecessor "Hoodoo Man" which was often regarded as the band's peak. However, I find "Rebirth" if not better then surely more interesting and refreshing release, due in part to the change of music style. Here we have diversity from heavy boogie hard rock to funk to acoustic ballads. If you like DEEP PURPLE/URIAH HEEP style of "progressive hard rock" then you will enjoy this album. Apart from strong favorites "Back From Hell" and "She's Got Nothing On You", I suggest to pay attention to excellent "Mister Hero", a brass and clavinet filled power funk number, for me the best moment on the album. Overall I would rate this at 3,5 stars, slightly better than "Hoodoo Man". Oh, and by the way - BIRTH CONTROL has nothing to do with KRAUTROCK!
Report this review (#74716)
Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Fourth album from this band for quite a line-up change. I quite liked their first two ones (and the heavy prog genre as well) and even if the band might call this one as Rebirth, I wouldn't go that far while speaking about this work.

If the opening number is quite decent, "Mister Hero" features too many boring and funky parts to please me, even if some very good organ play is featured during the second and last part of this song. But all these trumpets are really unbearable IMO.

If you are ever familiar with "The Knife" (yes, THE one), you will be surprised by the intro of "No Shade Is Real". Not for long, unfortunately. Vocals kind of ruin this one but the instrumental and heavy keys oriented part does deserve a mention.

"MPC" is an incredibly soft (but alas waaaaaaay too short) and one of the most beautiful musical moment out of this album. Deep, emotional, and profoundly beautiful. Nothing to do with "Together Alone Tonight". A "shouting" event with little inspiration, I'm afraid. Some good keys here and there as well as good guitar breaks is holding this album out of water. But only by an inch.

The best of Rebirth being "Back From Hell" (which is the closing number). An orgy of great keys and a fantastic rhythmic section. The highlight. A great drum solo (which is not frequent on a studio album) is featured, and I tend to like such efforts when performed at this level.

I can't really say that this "Birth Control" record is great. Just a good album. Three stars.

Report this review (#163397)
Posted Friday, March 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rebirth is from Birth Control's best period,and their best album. The band straddle the world of jazz rock and their heavy prog background in a really effective and refreshingly creative way with this record, which could very well satisfy fusion lovers, as well as those of heavy prog. This is not such an easy thing for a band to realize, but BC pull it off admirably, with the result being an album that was the most focused and professional sounding Birth Control would ever create.

One of the main things that really makes Rebirth such a great undertaking is that the band had, at this time, as a member the brilliant German guitarist Dirk Steffens, who injects a sincere, spirited, and deeply heart-felt musical presence throughout the album. Alas, the connection was not to last, and by early 1974, Steffens had left the band. He went on to pursue a solo career, whose first album The Seventh Step from 1976 has some of the musical feel of his involvement with Birth Control, though minus the jazz rock element.

But it can be said, though, that there is exemplary musicianship from all members of BC on Rebirth, and thus, there are no weak songs or even weak moments, the last track even including a great drum solo with mind-blowing technique. This group's instrumental prowess is in full vigor on this record, and makes for really invigorating music making all the way through. A five star, prog rock essential.

Report this review (#623129)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2012 | Review Permalink

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