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Ton Steine Scherben - Warum Geht Es Mir So Dreckig? CD (album) cover


Ton Steine Scherben



3.12 | 7 ratings

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3 stars Clay Stones Shards

Ton Steine Scherben feels like an early proto punk band with loads of opinions about how the world works, or perhaps even more befitting, doesn't work. This is agit-rock with all the leftist views, red flags and openly angry young men who detest anything to do with rules and conformity.

The group was formed in 1970 by guitarist and, dare I say, vocalist, Rio Reiser. He is the main force behind this venture supported by fellow revolutionaries Kai Sichtermann on bass, Wolfgang Siedel on drums and lastly one R.P.S. Lanrue joining in on some frantically played rhythm guitar.

If you enjoy the harsh brute atmospheres of the early Stooges, then this record just might be the thing for you. More than anything, this debut of theirs entitled Warum Geht Es Mir So Dreckig?(Why am I so badly off?) sounds like an edgy garage rock affair. With wild cacophonous rhythm and blues riffing, ballsy attitudes and some raging Germanic fuelled vocals - you get the feeling of being thrown into a sonic punk rock bar with barf on the walls and black n white painted faces staring at you with glances of darts.

When Reiser decides to embellish on this black backyard feel, he whips out the good ol wah wah pedal and storms through the music with his hair on fire and a back country of musicians that grow ever more sludgy and reckless. Think Ash Ra Tempel without the use of peyote and electronic trickery.

Ton Steine Scherben directly translated into English means Clay Stones Shards, although Reiser is famous for telling journalists that it in fact was a description conjured up by pioneer archaeologist Heinrich Schliemannm, when he first saw the ancient ruins of Troy.

On the 6th of September 1970 the group played their first major gig on the Fehmarn stage shortly after Jimi Hendrix had performed his last show on the exact same venue. The story goes that on the night of their gig, the house residing right next to the stage caught on fire during the show. Subsequent rumours will have you believe that the fire was instigated by the security personnel, because the organizers had fled with all the proceeds. Back then though, people thought the band had started the fire, which in turn gave them tons of credibility with the predominantly anarchistic population of their fan-base.

This debut is however more than the overt in-your-face garage proto punk, as you additionally get small acoustic segments that take you gently by the hand and leads you through 60s like protest songs. Luckily so I might add, the bone crunching tempo that takes up most of this album benefits immensely from these quieter moments, where we really get to hear the imaginative playing from both guitarists. Especially Reise's brief gentle guitar sprees are a thing of beauty. In many ways he reminds me of a more reckless Manuel Göttsching.

If you're on the verge of overthrowing your local government, or you just need some good honest garage rock with an edge to it, you should definitely go check out this baby. It clears out sinuses and cobwebs alike in a jiffy. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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