Crisk stormed onto the scene last year with a surprise debut that incorporated the bouncy minimalist fun of electroclash with the catchy punk shouts of EBM and industrial. The German group's first full-length offers plenty of what fans loved on that first EP. "Beute" and "Meine Stadt" are already familiar from the EP, of course, and "Out of My Head" crams a classic EBM bass line in with funky house beats for the best of both worlds. "Der Mond" is simple but infectious, with razor-sharp synth sequences slicing through a punchy bass groove, and "Gotcha" is pure minimalist grit from lead vocalist Christiane Koch's cynical spoken lyrics to the speaker-rattling distortion on the low end. But that's nothing too surprising; after the buzz surrounding the EP, it was safe to expect more of the same punk spirit and dance club enthusiasm, but Crisk also left themselves plenty of wiggle room, and some of this album's least characteristic tracks are also some of its most memorable. "Punkelektra" is at least as much pop as it is dance, with rock 'n' roll guitar chords backing a particularly squeaky Koch while upbeat synths and beats keep things geared to the dance floor. "Dein Geruch" loses the band's perky attitude, at least temporarily, in favor of softer vocals and dark bent keyboards, and "Orient Express" inserts an unmistakeable sense of '60s psychedelia via swirling, tripped out spoken vocals and hints of exotic dulcimer twang. Most shocking of all, though, is "Zarte Gestalten." More trip-hop than EBM or punk, it not only features Koch singing gently instead of shouting, it even goes so far as to bring in horn and flute parts. Don't be too shocked, though, because Crisk's signature sound is too catchy for them to abandon for long, and the next track, "Datenliebe," sees Koch returning to a squeaky grunt while the drum machines clatter underneath. Finishing things up is a remix of "Punkelektra" by EBM legend and close Crisk friend Claus Larsen of Leaether Strip, who drops the guitars out in favor of clanking percussion and and an extra helping of vocal processing. A bit like Nitzer Ebb crossed with Atari Teenage Riot, Crisk's first full-length album strays far enough outside the boundaries of EBM to appeal to a wide audience, from pop fans to punks to club patrons, while retaining just enough of that classic sense of dance floor aggression to keep purists stomping happily in their platform boots.
Check out Crisk at www.crisk.de for more information.
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