The Austrian band Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung (hard to translate without spoiling it, it is an ironic wordplay with Versicherung = “Insurance” and Verunsicherung = “Uncertainty”) is one of the best German-singing acts I have seen live on stage. The more, I have been really sad than they announced that their journey is over: in 2019, they finished their last tour. Thus, I was really surprised to find a new album of the band on the release list. It is a satiric album about Christmas and is called EAVliche Weihnachten – Ihr Sünderlein kommet. The second part of the album name means something like “You Sinners come” – in contrast to the popular German Christmas song Ihr Kinderlein Kommet = “You Children come”. Release date of this different view on the holiday is the 5th November 2021.
Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung / EAV – About The Artists
The Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung (EAV) has been a band, which has been founded in 1977 in Styria around Graz in Southern Austria. They played their lasts gig in Vienna in 2019. Their final lineup has been singer Klaus Eberhartinger, Thomas Spitzer (guitar, producer), Kurt Keinrath (guitar, keyboard), Franz Kreimer (keyboard, sax, accordion), Alvis Reid (bass), Aaron Thier (drums) and Reinhard Stranzinger, who replaced Spitzer on some tours. Even though Eberhartinger is likely the most well-known band member, only Spitzer has been part of EAV from the very beginning (Eberhartinger joined in 1981).
It took a while until the band had success in their home country – and later in other German speaking countries. Their third record Spitalo Fatalo has been a golden record in Austria as well as a Top 5 placed album. The big bang in their career was the 1985 album Geld oder Leben, which topped the Austrian charts with a quintuple platinum record, but got platinum status in Germany and Switzerland. The album contained several successful songs including Austrian #1 single Märchenprinz and Ba-Ba-Banküberfall, which even made it to the UK charts as Ba-Ba-Bankrobbery. The band always kept their comic style rock style, which pointed on social-critical topics. The 1988 Burli, for example, dealt with mutations after a nuclear catastrophe. Since Geld oder Leben until the end of the career of EAV, twelve of their albums in a row at least became second-placed in the Austrian album charts.
EAV – EAVliche Weihnachten – Track by Track
The 16 song album lasts 53 minutes.
1. Schlingel Bell
If you know the “EAV”, you likely did not expect an album with songs you can sing along with your family on Christmas Day while you unpack the presents. It’s more like an… alternative warm-up to these holidays I guess… In the first song, the Austrians combine rock music, the classic Jingle Bells tunes and their classic ironic-sarcastic lyrics. Knowledge of the German language is appreciated to get the full the blast.
2. Christkind verführen (feat. Willi Resetarits)
I would love to give you some lyrics excerpts – but while I do understand Austrian German, I just cannot write it. Thus, I just translate the first verses of the chorus: “I once want to seduce the Christkind, the hyprocritical cute girl” – the Christkind thereby is more like a Christmas Angel than an image of Baby Jesus in the German Christmas thoughts. The song is a slow ballad style song. Cool.
3. Oh Tannenbaum
Oh Tannenbaum (“Oh Christmas Tree”) is one of the most traditional German Christmas songs. In the EAV version, there is hardly anything left of the original vibe. The tree is shredded in the story of the song, the song comes with a heavy blues rock vibe. ZZ Top meets Austria in the festive season. Cool.
4. A klanes Feuer (feat. Turbobier)
For this very special Christmas album, the Austrians gathered a bunch of guest musicians. For A klanes Feuer (“A small fire”), they invited Turbobier, a Vienna punk-rock band. If you don’t listen to the lyrics, the song could really have a small potential to be a soft Christmas rocker – but of course, the EAV story is a bit different this time. However, not too punk-alike.
5. Oh du Gröhlige
The fifth song is a short episode creating a rocking version of the German Oh Du Fröhliche classic. Don’t give you too much details about the song – it made me smile. Not only because it ends with the verse Am Arsch macht sich die Fistel breit – “At the ass the fistula is growing”. Definitely a perspective on the holidays we have missed so far… Don’t we?
6. Am Christkindlmoarkt (feat. Christopher Seiler)
Together with Austrian comedian Christopher Sailer, the EAV travel to the Christmas market. The focus of the song is on the consumption of alcohol and what is happening thereafter. The song is having a swaying rhythm, a bit like a shanty song.
7. Roll Over Bethlehem (feat. Gert Steinbäcker)
For this single release, the EAV rock Roll Over Bethlehem. The Epiphany story from a very different perspective. Blasphemic? Maybe. Good? Definitely!
8. Scheitlknian am Weihnachtsabend (feat. Horst)
This song has been released by the Austrian band Horst already to get into the right Christmas mood in 2020. Very traditional folk style Austrian melodies. Of course, the lyrics are not too traditional so that you can bear the experience very well.
9. Klinik unter Psalmen
This track works as an interlude. Very typical EAV style track with social-critical contents about the cruelties and sexual abuse of the church on children.
10. Stille Nacht
Stille Nacht / Silent Night is of course a must-do title for the EAV guys on this alternative Christmas collection. The Austrians focus on the faith of African people and explicitly ask their listeners to donate for the people who have less luck. Ihr Sünderlein kommet as Christmas as it gets.
The dark and groovy pop/rock track gives a strong touch of the big hits of the band in the 1980’s. A song which is focusing on double standard behavior in a great way.
12. Einer muss der Krampus sein (feat. Paul Pizzera)
The Krampus is a frightening company of St. Nicholas in the Southern German and Austrian tradition. The rocking song is such a great song in a classic EAV style.
Einer muss der Krampus sein
Die ewig miese Sau
Über den sich nur die Eltern freu’n
Wenn ich ihre Kinder hau’
Einer muss der Krampus sein
In diesem Jammertal
Ich wär viel lieber nett und lieb
Als grausam und brutal
(“Somebody needs to be the Krampus
The always rotten pig
About only the parents are happy
When he is hitting their kids
Somebody needs to be the Krampus
In this vale of tears
I would prefer so much to be nice and kind
instead of cruel and brutal.”)
13. Leise rieselt
There is nothing left of the comtemplative peace of the Christmas classic Leise rieselt der Schnee once it has been processed by the EAV. The sound feels rather familar, the metaphors are reflecting the dark side of winter and Christmas time, though.
14. Der geile Weihnachtsmann (feat. Horst)
Somehow, Der geile Weihnachtsmann (“The horny Santa Clause”) can be seen as title track of the album, as it is starting with Ihr Sünderlein kommet. A song full of breaks between kitschy sounds and rocking parts – I just cannot quote the lyrics, I might risk the ranking on some search engines just for that. If you love sex and tacky lyrics, this is your Christmas soundtrack 2021.
15. Weihnachten net leiden (feat. Lemo)
“I don’t like Christmas” is the translation of the title of this song. Just with limited instrumentation and singer Lemo from Graz, you get a rather unagitated tour through all the bad things about the holidays.
The final song translated to “Grown Lonely”. A dark, atmospheric song. Christmas 2021 is not a happy time, regarding the EAV – Did you expect something else in the grand finale?
EAV – EAVliche Weihnachten – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
EAV – EAVliche Weihnachten – My View
In sixteen songs the Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung demonstrates why they are so deeply missed in the German lyrics music scene. You might not agree to any point and idea they are presenting, but their songs are on point, come with strikingly cutting lyrics – but still have an entertaining touch as well. This also applies for their 2021 Christmas album. Austria will celebrate this release – and I do so, too. A very different Christmas album – very well done.
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