In a move that’s sure to garner as many new fans as it alienates old ones, Wumpscut’s Rudy Ratzinger continues to make radical alterations to his signature EBM/darkwave sound. His newest full-length brings a new female vocalist, credited as “Jane M,” to the forefront while incorporating more emotional, less martial themes. While there are still some classic stomping electro moments, notably the club-oriented “Rush” and the enigmatic but catchy “Churist Churist,” written in a language of Ratzinger’s own invention, several of the new tracks come a lot closer to emotional reflection than last year’s “Your Last Salute,” which was arguably the first Wumpscut love song. “Hold” features Jane M. urging the listener to “Hold your darling in your arms” in a staccato soprano over synthesized harps and pianos; the song’s reflections on life’s impermanence fit in well with Ratzinger’s favored theme of human mortality, but in a much less morbid way than we’ve come to expect. “Don’t Go,” on the other hand, is a classic break-up song, with Rudy’s processed growls layered over Jane’s as two lovers pleading with each other not to leave. Perhaps the most unexpected track, however, is the album opener “Maiden.” Essentially a murder ballad, it starts off with synthesized harps and organs. Eventually things move a bit more into conventional darkwave territory, but the Medieval techno at the beginning – especially before Ratzinger’s own vocals kick in – could be mistaken for a Qntal piece. No doubt plenty of Wumpscut fans are going to hate this, but these are the people that have complained about every album since 1997’s “Embryodead.” Apart from the fact that these tracks don’t bear much of a resemblance to early hits like “Bunkertor 7” or “Soylent Green,” this is a lovely collection of darkwave and electro. Listen without preconceived notions, and you’ll see why Wumpscut tracks – both old and new – always end up packing the dance floor.
Visit Rudy Ratzinger online at www.wumpscut.com
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