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General

Lindemann – Skills in Pills Review

Band: Lindemann
Album: Skills in Pills
Label: Warner Music
Genre: Neue Deutsche Härte, Industrial Metal
Country: Germany
Release Date: June 23, 2015

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I’ve been a Rammstein fan for a few years now and I’m very proud to have albums like “Reise,Reise” and “Mutter” in my collection. Everything about Rammstein appeals to me. Especially that awesome industrial metal sound and the distinctive voice of Till Lindemann. The fact that the lyrics are all in German doesn’t bother me, in fact I kind of like it. I’m able to make up my own meanings to the songs, and if I do decide to look up the translation I can compare it to my initial impression. They’re just so distant sounding to me. Their sound is foreign, calculated and mechanical.
Recently I picked up the band again and gave their website a visit to see what they were up to. I discovered that Till was making a solo album and was very intrigued. I wasn’t sure what made this project separate from Rammstein and was interested to hear what kind of songs he would come up with. Turns out Lindemann is actually a supergroup with Peter Tägtgren of the industrial group Pain. So after a month or two, I finally pick it up at my local record store. The first thing that strikes me about the album is that the title “Skills in Pills”, is in English. I just kind of shrugged it off as no big deal, assuming it was primarily German with English sections in the songs. Well I assumed wrong. This album is sung in English start to finish with Till’s thick German accent. Sometimes it turns out ok, sometimes not. The album started off strong though with the title track “Skills in Pills” which is sure to please fans of both Pain and Rammstein respectively. It combines elements of both groups seamlessly, even though they weren’t too different to start with. “Ladyboy” is another stand out track with some great instrumentation. Musically it has a lot of personality and complex layers while the guitars and synths bind to create one big sound over Lindemann’s thoughts on “ladyboys”. The next song “Fat” was also a standout track with good use of strings, synths and guitar. The lyrics on this song are probably the best on the whole album as Till talks about how he likes his women. It’s one of those things that you have to hear straight from the source. The song “Fish On” is the first time this album falls short. The lyrics are full of really boring fishing puns that really ruin the song. The music itself isn’t bad but the lyrics are just so poorly written and preformed that I can’t help but skip past it, especially because the next song is so strong. “Children of the Sun” is one of the album’s best and has a awesome guitar part that’ll bring you back to glory days of Rammstein. No complaints with that sound. The next song ‘Home Sweet Home” is a softer song that reminds a lot of “Mutter” stylistically. It’s very beautiful and attention grabbing. It’s also the last song that I really like on this album. “Cowboy”, “Golden Shower”, “Yukon” and “Praise Abort” just don’t cut it for me. Considering “Praise Abort” was the single it’s incredibly underwhelming. The song starts with a odd spoken word piece were Till struggles his way through English to talk about how he should have used protection. In fact Till’s trouble with English is most evident on this song. Musically the song takes some awkward turns. it goes from almost a dance style synth lead to rock guitar part to a soft reflective part back into dance. It just doesn’t work on any level. The lyrics themselves are not badly written and are actually a good commentary on the struggles of parenthood and middle age living. The music behind it is just so cringeworthy it’s hard to get past. The last song “That’s My Heart” is actually pretty good. It has some nice piano in it and it’s very well done. Great song to end the album but not the best choice to follow “Praise Abort” the transition is a little awkward.
Even though this album had some hiccups, it’s they’re first album together. I hope they return to this project someday and release a follow up. It’d be interesting to see how they progress or if they progress at all. If you’re a fan of Rammstein and/or Pain give this a listen. It’s not a great album but it doesn’t deserve to be ignored.

Rating: 7/10

Tracklist:
1. Skills in Pills
2. Ladyboy
3. Fat
4. Fish On
5. Children of the Sun
6. Home Sweet Home
7. Cowboy
8. Golden Shower
9. Yukon
10. That’s My Heart

Total Playing Time: 40:26

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