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Wumpscutt
PREFERENTIAL LEGACY
(TWO CDS, METROPOLIS)
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At the hardest and most intricate edge of the "dark-wave" genre stand Wumpscutt, a German unit. If you like overwritten rants, they’re your band. Twisted Wagnerianisms? They’ve lots of that, too. Part grunge, part Rammstein, a little bit Rob Zombie, very Sisters of Mercy (no surprise there), Preferential Legacy features 26 tracks (some of which are remixes of previous releases) chock full of guttural rhythms, thick beats, gloomy sentimentality, ghoulish grunge guitars, and German-language lyrics growled by wolfish throats. In other words, a sonic universe as vast as Jimi Hendrix’s, though nowhere near as intimidating.

For one thing, Wumpscutt’s intricate songs have no blues notes — no voodoo howls. For another, they give way, much of the time, to easily danceable rhythms, and their German lyrics (French ones too) sound, to American ears, more exotic than fearful, no matter how stentorian the orchestrations that accompany them. Still, this doomy art rock has more than its share of catchy melodic moments of angry robot release. After all, how can you dislike — or dismiss — a band who sing industrially boomy, rhythmically vicious anti-war songs (favorites: "Krieg," "Stirb im Winter") in neo-Nazified German?

BY MICHAEL FREEDBERG


Issue Date: August 15 - August 21, 2003
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