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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 12 - 10/16/97

Ist Egal, Aber ...
L'Age D'Or / Motor Music

Tocotronic are an integral part of the Hamburg indie scene which has a special role in the German rock scene because many well known intellectual and pseudo-intellectual bands originate from there. The first three albums established Tocotronic, with their post-grunge, as one of the most popular contemporary rock acts in Germany.

Tocotronic is a trio, their lo-fi sound is raw and unpolished. They can't sing very well, and their musical skills are just enough to rock out loud, sometimes hard and always simple. Even the cover artwork reflects their musical approach with blurred low-quality photographs.

After passing successfully the hurdle of the 'difficult third album', the band tried to incorporate some new elements in their sound on the new album, but all without changing the concept too much. The production is somewhat better, and to some songs a string ensemble or keyboards were added to the raw guitar sound.

The unfinished, open title phrase "Ist egal, aber ..." ("It doesn't matter, but ...") is representative for the lyrical content of the album. The lyrics consist mostly of moaning over the world, some people or plain banalities like slow pedestrians. Often the ideas were just outlined roughly without development or conclusion. And the songs are really short; there are 18 songs on an album that is about 45 minutes long. Singer Dirk von Lotzow sounds always bored throughout the album, you just don't believe his emotional concern. Somehow the buzzword 'Generation X' comes to my mind.

I must admit that I don't like this album very much. It's not a bad album, but maybe I have heard too much indie rock in my life which was essentially the same or even better. However, Tocotronic must appeal to many people because there are plenty of more or less successful imitator bands around right now.

If you're willing to give the album a try, here is the good news: it's available not only on CD but vinyl and cassette as well.

Copyright © 1997 Lonely Locke e-mail address

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