The morphing of KMFDM into MDFMK happened last year and this is the first release from Sascha + Skold’s new project. Happily, this album brings back a lot of the energy (and guitar) that was sorely lacking on the last two KMFDM releases. This is not retro offering, though, and there is plenty of innovative weirdness to be had throughout.
“Now” is a good stage-setter, as it mixes some heavy riffing with some truly off-the-wall rhythms and both Sascha and Skold’s vocals. “Rabble Rouser” is even more rocking, with a more KMFDM-ish vibe. The third member of MDFMK makes her welcome appearance here as well. Ex-Drill singer Lucia Cifarelli adds some distinctive backing vocals and a short spoken bit. She really gets to shine on “Get Out of My Head,” where she takes over the lead vocal spot. This tune is kind of the anomaly on the album, with a less aggressive, more pop feel to it, akin to recent Garbage in many ways.

The rest of the album follows in similar style as the first two tracks, with the results ranging from good to great. “Gasoline” mixes d ‘n’ b rhythms and smooth verses with harsh choruses and slamming riffs, not unlike some of the stuff on Xtort. Skold really gets to show off his melodic voice here, something that never got utilized enough in KMFDM. “Torpedoes” has a cool, funky rhythm that harks back to the “Go to Hell” days, while “Be Like Me” shows some very deft manipulation of the band’s gear with stunning results. “Transmutator” has a slight SMG feel to it, mainly due to the funky vocal delivery, while “Control” is another upbeat rager.

The amount of guitar on this album really surprised me and I’m really glad to hear it used so effectively. “Hyrdo-Electric” features a slower, heavier riff and Lucia returns to center stage. “Witch Hunt” is a great way to end the proceedings, with its mix of bombastic synths and Nihil-era riffage – classic stuff!

The choice of MDFMK as the band’s new moniker is appropriate, as the ties to KMFDM are strong. Musically and lyrically, there is little here that really varies from what KMFDM was doing, much to my personal satisfaction. If you took the best tracks from the last two KMFDM albums, put them together and juiced them up with more energy and the sense of fun from older KMFDM records, you’d have MDFMK. While still not up to the standards set up albums like Angst and Xtort, MDFMK is a strong return to form and will hopefully be successful enough to keep their new label happy enough to keep paying them more than “a couple of bucks.”

Daniel Hinds