I have to remind you, Milord, that also back then, the synthesizer bands of the eighties (at least the good ones) weren’t part of the scene just because of the hairstyles or the cool neon tubes or the practical wear-round-your-neck keyboards.
Admittedly, that and only that is what you’d see on television those days and on the front covers of “The Face”. And in recent years, the tubes, hairstyles and wear-round-your-neck keyboards have looked pretty similar, and that kind of bands has played similar music and left you – how shall I put it – bored and annoyed. But if you’re going to start trying to tell me that the irony about this young band called Spillsbury is that their tracks sometimes sound like that, despite the two Spillsbury members, aged only 19 and 26, being far too young for such a revival, then I can’t help saying that it’s either an ill-considered explanation or just part of the story.
I’ve watched Spillsbury live, and in retrospect cannot say whether it was the entire floor or just my knees that were shaking. Zoe Meissner, the vocalist, reminded me of those fantastic rare moments when Debbie Harry from Blondie got really loud; she bit me in the ear several times, massaged me with melodies and danced to them like a female samurai.
Tobias Asche, the instrumentalist, made the machines play what he’d taught them to do earlier and hit the bass with his legs so far apart, just to try and keep it in check. And I swear, it was precisely the kind of bass that you and I had always thought could only be programmed by synthesizer specialists. It really sounded like the New Wave of that first summer after DAF and Grauzone. It was equally reminiscent of X Ray Spex, Le Tigre, Buzzcocks, Social Distortion, or Lagwagon.
Like guitar groups, yes, that’s right, although Spillsbury are an electronic band with complete justification. But I also listened to the single by One:Thirty, the melodic punks from Hamburg, in whose rehearsal room Zoe Meißner and Tobias Asche first met in 2000. Mr Asche was still creating songs on his home PC, strangely enough that was never techno, but always stuff that his band could’ve played themselves. Ms Meissner came along, co-wrote some songs and sang, now in German. That turned into Spillsbury. Don’t call it a project, that’s a horrible word. What other people call electronic “fiddling about” would take far too long for these two impatient people. This is why it’s also much easier to dance to, more on the wild side, because Mr Asche and Ms Meissner programmed their drum machine regardless of how people normally move. And it’s not a hedonistic lark, definitely not. Listen, and you’ll see what I mean.
Following the Spillsbury 12” released last summer, “Raus” is the album (masterminded by the in-house Lado producer Chris von Rautenkranz), and you should listen to it the way you’d listen to a punk album, because the ballad never comes and, Sir, in the end you will not feel the necessity to demand educated-bourgeois satisfaction, not after 13 chopping riffs and pulsating digital sound patterns, octave basses, synthesizer sirens and guitar power-chords.
You can write the slogans that Ms Meissner sings onto any wall: “Jeder kriegt den Scheiß, den er verdient” (Everyone gets the shit they deserve), „Ich will kein‘ Kaffee, nur noch Bier“ (I don’t want any coffee, I just want beer), even „Soll das dein Leben sein?“ (Is that meant to be your life?)– punk rock is always (firstly) impertinent and (secondly) wise, it doesn’t make any difference if it avails itself of the sign language of electronic pop. For harmonious moments take “Jona”, an argumentation against cosiness, or “Bahnsteig” (platform), a rage against one’s own immobility. „Viel zu wenig Zeit, viel zu früh gefreut“, (Much too little time, overjoyed too soon) is what the song “Ruhestörung” (disturbing the peace) boils down to, and that’s what this Spillsbury record is all about: That people will start moving at some point, at the latest when their heads are on fire.
Stomach that first, Milord. We can talk about it later.