KMFDM is Harder Than the Rest: The mood is dark in Los Angeles this week, what with the Sisters of Mercy in town and Cruel World Fest going on this weekend. The Damned are playing on Sunday too. That’s a whole lot of goth and dark punk and, as a result, a whole lot of black clothes.
Stacking the pile further are Germany-based industrial troupe KMFDM (pronounced Kemferdem if you want to really annoy their fans between songs at this Belasco gig). That said, the industrial and goth crowds certainly have some crossover, but the general vibe is very different. At the Sisters of Mercy’s Hollywood Palladium show, the clothes were black but flowing, pre-Raphaelite in influence, romantic. The fashion on display at KMFDM had a different vibe. More rubber, more BDSM, more long rubber jackets. Both cool, both dark, but different.
KMFDM have a ton of great songs. They’ve released 22 studio albums since 1984, which is slightly more than one every two years. That’s remarkably prolific, and the quality has remained incredibly consistent.
At the Belasco, they pulled out tunes from 11, so half, of those albums. For the most part, they performed a song with lead vocals by founder Sascha Konietzko followed by one with vocals by his American co-frontperson (and wife) Lucia Cifarelli. That creates wonderful dynamics within the set.
Perhaps naturally, last year’s Hyëna album was represented the most, with five songs including the awesome title track ands the manic “Blindface.”
Sadly there was nothing from two of our favorites — 1990’s Naïve and 2009’s Blitz. But we got the title track and “Oh My Goth” from 2019’s brilliant Paradise, and an anthemic “Freak Flag” from 2017’s Hell Yeah.
Going further back, “A Drug Against War” from 1993’s Angst was a highlight, as was “Son of a Gun” from 1996’s Xtort. Honestly though, there wasn’t a bad song all night. Just a lot of dry ice, and fist-pumping good fun.
KMFDM is Harder Than the Rest: Visit kmfdm.net for more info.
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