October 22, 2018 KMFDM – Live In The USSA (Album Review)
“Better than the best and harder than the rest,” KMFDM are a sonic institution. With over three decades of electric mayhem under their belts, the beloved Industrial titans are ready to present their fourth live album, Live In The USSA, which arrives this Friday, October 26, 2018, thanks to earMUSIC. Just in time for that dancing good time you planned this Halloween!
Arguably one of the most prolific artists of our time, KMFDM have produced twenty full-length studio albums in their 34-year career, including, but hardly limited to, 1995’s Nihil, 2002’s Attak, 2011’s WTF?!, and 2017’s Hell Yeah. With a musical core currently composed of mainstay and Founding Member, Vocalist and Multi-Instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko along with Vocalist Lucia Cifarelli, Drummer Andy Selway, and Guitarist Andee Blacksugar, Germany’s KMFDM has created a career out of their evolving sound that is always steeped in the very finest of Industrial Rock.
For their fourth live album – the most recent being 2014’s We Are KMFDM – the foursome have sought to once again put their incendiary live show to CD. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, on their 2017 headlining tour for Hell Yeah, the 12-song collection goes big on sound to prove that there is a very clear reason why KMFDM has been beloved for so very long. Splitting the set-list between six of Hell Yeah’s finest and six old-school favorites, they author a live album that is as deliciously danceable as one would expect – a guaranteed good time for any KMFDM fan!
Live In The USSA begins with KMFDM greeting the Atlanta crowd before blasting into the deliciously anthemic, danceable “Freak Flag.” The sound here is massive, infectious happiness that will have you dancing through your living room like it’s a hot Goth club and you’re wearing your very finest fetish-wear. Next, “Germany is with you!” proclaims a pre-recorded electronic voice before the band launches into the rocking stomp of “Hell Yeah,” off their most recent 2017 offering of the very same name.
WTF?!’s “Rebels in Control” goes funky electronics and Rap-Rock before some heavy-hitting drum-work leads the band into the gritty sociopolitical “Total State Machine,” a headbanging reminder that the government hates us all and liberty is a thing of the past. Continuing the riotous vibes, the crowd cheers as the descent into the ‘Industrial noise’ of “Burning Brain” begins, a guitar-heavy, rocking reminder to watch your back at all times.
Cifarelli returns to the lead for the heavy atmospheric trance of “Bumaye” – from 2007’s Tohuvabohu – that builds toward a duet in the song’s choruses full of infectious evil and, ultimately, some pissed-off German. This prepares the audience for the full-on sonic mayhem of “Glam Glitz Guts & Gore,” a judgmental eye turned toward the pretty lies that unite us in fraudulence and keep us hooked on social stupid-ia.
The electronic backbone of the band twinkles and shines on the introduction to the sensual “Shock,” before they bounce back to a Rap-Rock vibe for the Konietzko-led stomp of “Virus” (originally off 1990’s Naïve). Meanwhile, EDM sounds explode along with the crowd’s applause for “Murder My Heart,” where bass anchors the bespelling sway of Cifarelli’s sultry smooth vocals.
As they journey closer to their conclusion, Konietzko greets the crowd once more before launching into the incendiary attack of “WWIII,” off the 2003 album of the same name, a declaration of all-out war. Ultimately, they end with another offering from 1990’s Naïve, driving rocker “Godlike,” one of their best-known offerings, a wall of noise that wraps up the entire performance with a truly heavy bang.
Some live collections try to heavily cater toward the audience that was in attendance on the night of their recording, over-injecting applause and on-stage banter and trying to create a false sense of the band performing that very same concert in your living room or car. For Live In The USSA, KMFDM have instead focused the spotlight onto themselves and what they have always done so well: put on an amazingly inspiring, eclectic and enjoyable live performance.
So, while you might not necessarily feel like Konietzko and Cifarelli are sitting on your sofa and speaking directly to you, you will have the roof entirely blown off your home. Considering this is flawless, amazing, in-your-face Industrial, could you really hope for anything more? With our dancing boots on, CrypticRock give KMFDM’s Live In The USSA 4.5 of 5 stars. Next go-round, we humbly request the inclusion of “Juke Joint Jezebel.”