If you feel that Cologne Carnival songs or party music must be a rather regional and limited things, stats of bands like Kasalla proof you wrong. The Cologne party rock band released songs like Pirate (“Pirates”), which have more than ten million streams on YouTube only. On 17th June 2022, they release a new album, Rudeldiere. I already had a listen.
Kasalla – About The Artists
Kasalla (which is a Cologne German word for “riot”) has indeed been founded in Cologne, Germany, in 2011. The two founding members of the band are guitarist and songwriter Flo Peil and lead singer Bastian Campmann. They play in the same lineup since they founded the band, together with Rene Ena Schwiers (keyboard, harmonica), Sebastian Wagner (bass) and Nils Plum (drums). Already their first album Et jitt Kasalla! received great critics and has been boosted by the lead single Pirate, which received a golden record in Germany. Since then, the band has become very popular in the region, not only during carnival time.
Songs like Stadt met K (2015) became hymns for their home town. Overall, they released four studio albums so far, the last being Mer sind eins (“We are one”) in 2017. Thus, Rudeldiere contains songs like Alle su yeah! and Pommes un Champagner, which have been single releases in 2018 and 2019. At the day of the Rudeldiere release, Kasalla will play a very likely sold out concert at Cologne’s soccer temple, the RheinEnergieSTADION.
Kasalla – Rudeldiere – Track by Track
The 18 songs album lasts 79 minutes. As always in dialect albums, I give lyrics in standard German.
The album opens with the title track, which has been their leading song in the 2021/22 carnival campaign. The track translates to “pack animals” and it is a typical Kasalla song: power Cologne German rock, made to party and sing, with a catching rhythm. Nice one.
2. Immer noch Kasalla
The 5:14 minute song is a great party rocker, which is looking back to the band’s history. Powerful guitar riffs, fast rhythm, really a cool listen (remark to the lyrics: Cologne is named Köln in German and is thus the Stadt met K – the “City with K”, which also a former Kasalla song):
K A S A Doppel-L A
Fünf Bekloppte aus der Stadt mit K
In einem Karussell und es dreht immer schneller
Denn es gibt immer noch Kasalla
K A S A Double-L A
Five weird guys from the City with K
In a carousel and it spins faster and faster
As there is Still Kasalla”)
3. Der Ress vun dingem Levve
The Cologne band is able to do quieter tracks than the two openers as well. The track, which they released in 2019 already, is a bit closer to traditional carnival tunes. A song about love – the chorus asks “Do you have something planned for the rest of your life?” – nice way to do a wedding proposal.
4. Jröne Papajeie (feat. Eko-Fresh)
Indeed, Cologne (and nowadays the neighboring cities as well) is home of tiny green parrots. Some 40 yeas, some ring-necked parakeets somehow escaped (or have been set free) and surprisingly survived the cold winter climate. This is referred in this song recorded with rapper Eko-Fresh, when they state Über meiner Stadt fliegen grüne Papageien (“Over my city, there are flying green parrots”). A track which is praising diversity in Cologne. Very good one.
5. Di Leed
The fiddle in this song gives this song a nice folk and shanty signature. The album is back to the Kasalla party sound. Nice track, even though it is not a highlight of the large selection of tracks.
6. Die jode ahle Zick vun Morje
The sixth track is rather coming with moderate power and speed. The chorus is a bit of energetic. A song about enjoying every moment – “We are just going through the good old times”. Some sort of time traveling in a nice lyrical way.
7. Bunte Hungk
Not just due to the vast number of tracks, Rudeldiere is a great statement about the versatility of the band – melodically and lyrically. This, which has a pop rhythm, refers to one of the band members’ grandfathers, who has passed away. The title roughly translates to “outstanding and characteristic person” – the chorus closes with Du fehlst mir jeden Tag – “I miss you every day”. The rhythm wants to make you move, the lyrics want to make you cry. That’s amazing.
8. Midden em Sturm
Midden em Sturm (“In the middle of the storm”) is another beautiful song write with catching lyrics. Very dramatic arrangement of the track, which has been released in October 2020 already.
9. Pommes un Champagner
Back to carnival and party songs. Even though the very first notes rather remind of 1920’s or 1930’s music, Kasalla go for the full party force very soon. The amazing track is about a couple, which is a bit of different.
Du und ich
Wir passen so gut zusammen
Goldfisch und Piranha
Pommes und Champagner
(“You and Me
We fit so well
Goldfish and piranha
French fries and champagne”)
The song has been a huge success in the 2019/20 carnival season.
After a slow beginning, the powerful chorus is about love, about enjoying the nighttime. “We are like signal rockets over the city”. The quiet Kasalla moments are not bad at all.
This song is refering to the saying that if life is giving you lemons, you have to turn it into lemonade. The verses have a nice groove, even have a slight synth touch – the chorus rather feels like a punk rocker. Fascinating contrast.
12. Alle su yeah!
This track using electronic sounds as well is a straight party and fun song. Very enjoyable melody and lyrics. Good one for a Kasalla live gig party.
13. Typ em Speejel
Typ em Speejel (“The guy in the mirror”) is opening a section of four songs, which have not been released before the album. This one is about that you have to do the first steps by yourself if you want to change the world. The song also introduces a very different pop style to the album, nice.
14. Durch ding Aure
Keyboarder Rene Schwiers wrote this song about his child. He wishes that “I could see the world one day through your eyes again”. A beautiful, slow song about how kids grow up, make new experiences, but also about his very own life (“I thank God for what I am”). To me, this one is the hidden gem in this list of 18 songs.
15. E janz klei Besje
After the impressing Durch ding Aure, this song is another emotional highlight. A beautiful farewell track. Breathtaking.
Doch egal, wohin Du gehst
Ein ganz kleines bisschen
Von mir geht
Mit Dir mit
Und egal wo Du auch bist
Ein ganz kleines bisschen
Von Dir bleibt
Einfach hier bei mir.
(“No matter where you go
A tiny little bit
Of me travels
No matter where you are
A tiny little bit
of you stays
Just here with me”)
16. Sing mich noh Hus
“Sing me home” is the literal translation. Another slow, very emotional and intimate recording. I absolutely love that personal section of the album.
The break from these amazing, quiet tracks to the 2021 single release feels a bit too much. The song a cool one – the Schäl Sick (“Wrong side”) is the East part of Cologne, right of the River Rhine. It is regarded to be the worse and more weird side of the city for many locals. Bastian Campmann celebrates that he is a “dirty Schäl Sick guy” – and it is a fun listen.
18. Dat letzte Leed der Welt
“The last song of the world” – how could an album closing be more suitable? Yeah, there is some apocalypse in the lyrics – but finally, it is about enjoying life until the very last moment. Like I enjoyed this album until the very last moment.
Kasalla – Rudeldiere – Spotify
Here is Rudeldiere on Spotify:
Kasalla – Rudeldiere – My View
It is a bit of shame that it took Kasalla so long to release this album. Thus, there are quite a lot of known tracks on the record already. On the other hand, there are is also a bunch of really great new songs. Kasalla show that they are great party rockers and amazing tellers of intimate stories. From hard rock and punk-ish blasts to very quiet moment, Rudeldiere has it all… And you receive almost eighty minutes of music when you buy this one. If you like Kasalla’s style, this should be a no brainer – great album!
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