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Laibach, Spectre (Mute Records)
Cd Reviews February 20, 2014

02/20/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 It’s been so long since this Slovenian industrial-doom band put out an album, I can’t even remember if I liked the last one (2006’s Volk). But this LP was well worth the wait, a clinic on relentless hard-electro stomp-age that re-establishes the band’s rep as “Rammstein for grown-ups.” Bolstering such a brag, we have “Eat Liver,” propelled by a busy, shuffling beat; it’s quite menacing in its way, meaning it’s definitely Laibach, meaning there’s a fervently angry yet hopelessly detached quality to it, as though a few chunks of the shattered Berlin Wall had come to life and thrown a band together. They’ve always been unapologetic rabble-rousers (they were banned in Yugoslavia 30 years ago), obsessed with putting art itself on trial (they covered Queen’s “One Vision” just so they could reveal the creepy ambiguity of lines like “All we need is one worldwide vision”), but their own tunes are demands for a change in the worldwide status quo. It can be a hard read, sometimes, though. In the freak-hiphop song “No History,” Milan Fras’s froggy, cigarette-mangled voice seems to be baiting the Occupy Wall Street kids to try harder, although owing to the language disconnect, it’s not blindingly apparent at what. The lines “Call out for heroes who will be decreed of a new political faith,” and “judge the intentions of those we don’t trust” seem too obvious, if not incongruous. But beyond that, there’s the smell of real-deal here – these guys would still do anything for positive change. A — Eric W. Saeger






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