Time for some discussions in the German music scene – the Böhse Onkelz released their 17th studio album on 28th February 2020. The controversal German rock giants look back to forty years of band history. Their corresponding album is nothing but self-titled.
Böhse Onkelz – About The Artists
The Böhsen Onkelz (derivation of “Böse Onkels” meaning “Evil uncles”) is a Rock and Hard Rock band from Frankfurt, Germany. They consist of Kevin Russel (vocals), Stephan Weidner (bass, vocals), Matthias Röhr (guitar) and Peter Schorowsky (drums). If you want to start an endless discussion about a German bad, the “Onkelz” are your candidate to go: originally a punk band, their first album Der nette Mann (“The kind man”) has been put on the German media index and was even seized after publication as it contains violent language. There were also nationalist thoughts around the band. The band renounced from these thoughts thereafter and even played shows against nationalist thoughts thereafter. Still there are just two thoughts about them: you may believe that they really changed their mind – or not.
Undoubtedly, the Onkelz are one of Germany’s most successful rock bands. Though the album did not top the German abum charts, the 1996 album E.I.N.S. is likely one of the best German rock albums of the 1990s. The ongoing discussions about the band worked as a perfect marketing for them – the folllowing album, the 1998 Viva los Tioz was the first one out of five albums in a row (closing with the 2016 Memento) which topped the German album charts. Thereby, the band broke in 2007 re-united in 2014. In 2015, they sold old the Hockenheimring four times in a row, which were the most successful consecutive singular shows in the German concert history, according to their promoters, Wizard Promotion.
Though the best single charts placements were in the 2000’s so far, the band wrote some very classic German rock songs, like Mexiko (about the 1986 Soccer World Championship) or Auf gute Freunde (“To good friends”).
Böhse Onkelz – Böhse Onkelz – Track by Track
The 13 new Onkelz tracks, which include one Intro, last 55 minutes:
If you hate the band, this spoken prologue is giving you one of the key arguments in your discussions. They are said to be too pathetic and do not demarcate sufficiently from their dark past. I personally feel that this prologue is a bit too much. Forward button.
2. Kuchen und Bier
Kuchen und Bier (“Cake and Beer”) is looking back to the beginning of the band history, but also celebrating the forty year anniversary – 14,000 days of Böhse Onkelz are to be celebrated with cake and beer. Great beginning.
3. Des Bruders Hüter
Another very rocking with a typical Onkelz sound. Great one, which reminds me of the 1990’s Onkelz sound. Wow!
4. Ein Hoch auf die Toten
“Come to the other side” – Ein Hoch auf die Toten. I don’t see the death as the end of life. A very direct discussion about death, but also praising of the people who died (too) young.
The album has a lot of rock, a lot of power. The fifth song is about a complete truthfullness. Five great tracks so far.
6. Saufen ist wie Weinen
Saufen ist wie Weinen (“Drinking is like crying”) is the first song, which is a bit slower – at least at the beginning, before an instrumental part is changing back to the typical Onkelz sound. This song is a reference to drug abuse, alcohol. Some band members had problems with that in the past.
7. Wie aus der Sage
The seventh track is the first really slower one. Combined with the guitar sounds, this track is one of the most intense ones of the album to me. “Fighting makes you strong, not the victory, but stand up after falling and repeat”. Again, there are also reference to death, paradise, staying alive – a very core topic of the album.
8. Du hasst mich! Ich mag das!
Du hasst mich! Ich mag das! (“You hate me! I love it!”) is a fast song again, which however is not as powerful in the guitars as the first tracks of the album have been. The song has a break after about the middle of the it and changes to a much more rocking and guitar-powered track.
You are the rabbits, I am the snake – I am the fox, you are the goose – these are the first verses of the ninth song, which is very methaphoric (for example: Paradise Garden Eden cut down with chainsaws). Cool track.
10. Wer schön sein will, muss lachen
5:41 minutes – the longest track of the album album (“Who wants to be beautiful, needs to smile”) is one of the most melodic – and best tracks of the album.
11. Der Hund, den keiner will
This slower track (“You are the dog, that nobody wants”) is a typical Onkelz. A very catchy tracks with reggae elements.
12. Flügel für dich
Very melodic, one of the most catching songs (in a series of great songs) about not giving up, even in tough situations.
13. Die Erinnerung tanzt in meinem Kopf
The last song, a ballad, is recapturing the whole band history and states that the band keeps all the memories – good and bad ones – of the band history. The verse at the end of the chorus, Und wenn es mich nicht mehr gibt, es bleibt dieses Lied (“When I am gone, there is still this song”) sounds like a musical farewell. At least, it is a great finish of the album.
Böhse Onkelz – Böhse Onkelz – Spotify
Here is the Spotify link to the album:
Böhse Onkelz – Böhse Onkelz – My View
Love them or hate them – the “Onkelz” again proof that if you want to hear great German rock’n’roll, they are top candidates. The album has different sounds, different stories, but is always straight. It is close to their best 1990s productions. The songs make you want to sing and shout to the songs, some want to make you head-banging, Maybe this is the final roar of the band? Nobody knows. 40 years after, they still do what they can do best – great rock music! Top Pick!
Böhse Onkelz – 40 Jahre Concerts
In order to celebrate their 40th band anniversary, the band will not take a proper tour, but give six shows in their home town Frankfurt in different venues, from the very intimate “Das Bett” to two shows in the Waldstadion, Frankfurt’s soccer stadium. There is also a 2020 tour through Germany, which sold out in minutes – so getting tickets for these events will be a matter of luck. Ticket sales start on 5th March 2020, 16:00 German time.
|Fr 28.08.2020||Frankfurt, Das Bett|
|Sa 29.08.2020||Frankfurt, Das Bett|
|Tu 01.09.2020||Frankfurt, Hugenottenhalle|
|We 02.09.2020||Frankfurt, Jahrhunderthalle|
|Fr 04.09.2020||Frankfurt, Waldstadion|
|Sa 05.09.2020||Frankfurt, Waldstadion|
Note: The Waldstadion is currently branded as Commerzbank-Arena, but the naming rights conclude after the 2019/20 soccer season.
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