Rammstein fill stadiums around the world, despite the fact that, as they admit, 99% of their fans have no idea what they’re singing about. They’ve managed that by having a jawdropping live show, cultivating a strong air of unwholesomeness and making their music as streamlined and efficient as possible: everything is honed into such a brutal, mechanical pulse that you can almost hear the pyro cues in their songs.
On their eighth album, the lyrics are again in German, the riffs again pound and all you might expect is present and correct. At times it’s so on the nose you all but roll your eyes – the oompah band that introduces a song about wanting to meet a woman with large breasts, called Dicke Titten (Big Tits), for example. Zick Zack, a graphic description of plastic surgery, is almost certainly the only rock song to comment on the re-found visibility of a man’s penis after the removal of seven kilos of belly fat. Till Lindemann, as ever, intones as if he is announcing desperate news over the radio, which adds the required oddness to Meine Tränen (My Tears), about an oppressive mother-son relationship.
But it’s hard not to get swept along: Rammstein’s world is so perfectly formed – the gothic, operatic sweep of their metal delivers hook after hook, endorphin hit after endorphin hit; the grooves are as deep as canyons – that ridiculous or not, there’s no risk of boredom, even as you know the whole thing is really just an excuse to get all the flames and explosions back on the road.