If you haven’t heard of KMFDM, you’ve likely been living under a rock. Few industrial groups have achieved the degree of mainstream recognition that they have. I mean, how much industrial music do you hear on Beverly Hills 90210? Reportedly (not being a fan of 90210 myself) the song Juke Joint Jezebel was featured in an episode once upon a time. KMFDM found themselves in the media on a fairly regular basis. About a year ago, however, the news spread about the Net: “KMFDM is dead — long live MDFMK.” KMFDM, after 15 or so years of assorted mayhem, was splitting up.

The catch? This album, by a “brand new” band, shockingly enough, called MDFMK. Where KMFDM actually stood for something (Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid — loosely translates to “no sympathy- pity- mercy for the majority- masses). MDFMK makes no such pretenses or pretensions, it’s simply a reversal of the previous acronym. Why bother changing, a sensible person might ask. According to Sascha, driving force behind both of the above groups, it’s to being anew, to have a “tabula rasa” from KMFDM. A lovely sentiment. More accurate, however, is his statement that “MDFMK will pick up where KMFDM left off.”

To be nice, it is reminiscent of KMFDM. To be more truthful, KMFDM pretty much exhausted the possibilities of their particular brand of industrial. To be brutally honest, this album is a bland regurgitation of some (not necessarily the good) elements of KMFDM. If one were to judge the album on it’s own merits, and not compare it to KMFDM (as is inevitable), MDFMK is decent. Beats, guitars, things going crash and thud, a blend of female and growled male vocals, stir vigorously, add two tablespoons of samples and bake at 350 for an hour. In my eyes, it could have used another hour of baking, or at least some fresher ingredients. I can’t really say that track X, Y, or Z sticks out, because honestly, none do. The lyrics are pretty typical for Sascha and company, but without the random snippets of German.

All in all, this album is saddening. If those responsible for KMFDM were truly moving on and creating entirely new things, one could at least retain some degree of respect for them, whatever the quality. This album seems to be purely an attempt to separate fans from their hard-earned cash. If you’re a diehard KMFDM fan, this is a good chance to cut your losses and enjoy the back-catalogue, as there will be no more music from KMFDM. I do not recommend this album even if you hold KMFDM above all others. It truly does not meet expectations.

Theo Rhodes