STOP UND FICK DICH by LOUDER THAN DEATHRelease date: June 28, 2019
Label: In The Red
What’s up punks? If you were jonesing for some of that uncut old school punk rock it’s your lucky day, this is a full strength shot. Fast and filthy, energetic and bad tempered, it’s punk as maximum rock ‘n’ roll. Louder Than Death roughly channel outsider devotion to The Stooges, Ramones and early Damned into a raging, spitting, blitzkrieg bop of cheap thrills and bad vibes in mercifully disrespectful style. The cover features a Raymond Pettibone style drawing of a pig taking down a cop, STOP UND FICK DICH is ‘stop and fuck you’ in German, which gives you an idea of the record’s hedonist nihilism. It’s loud, instinctive and beautifully dumb.
‘Chief Sleeps in Park’ kicks off with painfully contorting guitar and motors through a trashy screed towards its chant of freak defiance “Holding our heads up so high watching the miserables pass me by, in slow motion, no emotion, no elation”. Louder Than Death are here to preach the gospel of rock ‘n’ roll liberation in the face of a filthy, stupid world, they are not about to be beat down. The title tune is a surreal rant about ‘stop and frisk’ policing that knocks you sideways with its surprisingly melodic chorus before a twisted take on the Miranda rights – “you have the right to a bullet in the back of your head, if you cannot afford a bullet one will be provided for you” – and a pretty funny lounge act close. These two toe tappers both race by in less than two and half minutes making ‘Erased World’ feel a little bloated as it chugs past four but this is an aberration. ‘Snot Queen’ sees them back thrashing through a sticky devotional to the delinquent charms of a girl from Delaware in the time it takes to reach the back of the bus.
At the time of writing Louder Than Death is the most recent musical incarnation of the unstoppable, irrepressible, King Khan. The latest in a long line of many feathered musical hats. If you don’t know him, get to. This is a reasonable intro into his world. If you do, you might have found the proliferation of bands and approaches getting increasingly wild in recent years. King Khan is a lifer, a real deal rock ‘n roll lunatic, a bringer of love and power, an undeniable force for good.
Having assembled a crack team of similar true believers (from The Spits and others) STOP UND FICK DICH is the glorious punk record he’s been threatening to produce for a while now, a distillation of random and transitory outbursts into a fierce and focused whole. ‘ABCs in Old Berlin’ revisits the first track from their weirder, wonkier, self titled debut and finds them turning The Ramones knob all the way up to 11. The first couple of tunes here are new but all the others first appeared on the two albums he made with Jasper Hood as The Black Jaspers.
Now, I liked those records but they were quite stridently no-fi recordings. Muffled and distorted to the point where it sounded like Khan was yelling into a tin bucket while the band played downstairs and he caught the whole thing on an old walkman. Louder Than Death put flesh and blood on the bones of these songs and send high voltage crackling right through them. STOP UND FICK DICH still sounds raw but it also has punch and depth. The bass riff that opens ‘Long ‘N’ Wavy’ is as good an example as any because, well, because there wasn’t any bass on the Black Jaspers records. They bring out the wired Stooges mania of ‘Scum Of The Moon’ and ‘Born in ’77’ and the demented head rush idiocy of ‘Spicy Chicken’, “Your spicy chicken got rabies, rats in the kitchen got scabies, birds and the bees on fire, spicy chicken you’re my desire” into which they then drop an unexpected nod to ‘Let There Be Rock’.
The influence of AC/DC is not much apparent musically but they share a faith in rock ‘n’ roll’s essential elements and a taste for dubious stage costumes. Old enough to know better, Khan and his crew lean into a set of nihilist teenage clichés but camp it up just enough and not too much. Out of love and honesty, because they’re true believers. Still, they eventually get tired of the mask and let it slip on the final couple of tunes. ‘Strange Way’ is softer both musically and emotionally. A pretty, minor key sway with Khan imploring “Hold me one last time and never let me go“. To wrap things up they drop the ‘fuck the world’ mantra and are joined by fellow rock ‘n’ roll proselytizer Ian Svenonius (Nation Of Ulysses, Make Up, Chain & the Gang) for ‘Baby Huey’ who leads a chant summoning Black Panther Huey P. Newton back to life in order to help lead the revolution. For all the chaos, vulgarity and negativity STOP UND FICK DICH is fundamentally a life affirming record. This is the kind of motivational message I can get behind. Rise.