Einstürzende Neubauten
"Perpetuum Mobile"

(Mute 2004)Einstürzende Neubauten - Perpetuum Mobile

Their first album since 2000's "Silence Is Sexy," Einstürzende Neubauten certainly kept their fans informed about what to expect on "Perpetuum Mobile." In fact, many of the German band's fans watched as the band recorded it and even offered advice (see "Einstürzende Neubauten Launches Pioneering Web Project" for the full explanation). And now the album's finished and music fans should be eager to hear, and take notes, on the proper way to use car tires, tree leaves and other industrial instruments.

Soft but intense, rhythmic pattering and handclaps punctuate "Ich gehe jetzt" as does EN's Blixa Bargeld with his sing-speak vocals. With a clatter of metal, "Perpetuum Mobile" begins and sets a quicker pace as the music buzzes and engages for what feels nothing like the thirteen minutes it actually takes as the song continually changes, evolves and absolutely absorbs you. In a break in the song, Bargeld mockingly dead pans to an assumed airport security guard that yes, his case was sometimes unsupervised and not everything belongs to him, among other answers. Softer and slower, "Ein leichtes leises Säuseln" is much shorter than its predecessor as dried linden leaves and gentle piano make up a majority of the background. "Selbstportrait mit Kater [Self-portrait with Hangover]" remains relatively simple with minimal percussion clapping in the background until the band chants the song's title. Sounding as desolate as the image portrayed by its lyrics ("Tauwetter. Schmelzvorgänge./Schwindet unter uns nicht allmählich das tragende Eis? [Thaw. Unfreezing./Will the dwindling ice bear our weight much longer?]"), Bargeld's vocals sound to be swimming on "Boreas" while rhythmic clinking carries the melody on the intense "Ein seltener Vogel."

Bargeld and band-mate Rudolph Moser offer an interesting industrial rendering of the ocean on instrumental "Ozean und Brandung" while the cut-up sounding instrumentation on "Paradiesseits" almost sounds upbeat with a tuba-sounding bit accented the end of each line of the music. The album's only song completely in English and less heavy on the industrial sound, the smart and catchy "Youme & Meyou" sees Bargeld noticing, correctly, ""˜cause out there's always a construction site/a Starbucks and/yet another Guggenheim," to a bass pulse and background of violins. Beginning slowly and quickly picking up speed and instruments, "Der Weg ins Freie" returns to the engaging rhythms and more unique instrumentation. Subdued sounding with Bargeld's vocals strong for the verses, "Dead Friends (Around the Corner)" is conversely almost sing-song during its chorus while metal percussion compliments the rest. As the entire band produces clinking from their metal percussion, "Grundstück" is a bitter sweet closing as the serenade of strings and an accordion provide offer lightness in the dark sounding instrumentation.

Heavy with rhythm, lyrical repetition and unique instrumental sounds, "Perpetuum Mobile" will do anything but let down fans of the band. Einstürzende Neubauten delivers their trademark industrial instrumentation, frequently accented with chant-like vocals, while still retaining the soft, sometimes melodic sound of "Silence Is Sexy." "Perpetuum Mobile" is clever and memorable -- so much so that the hour plus album seems to demand multiple listens back to back. And when it is this good, who would complain?