Album Review: Die Silberfische - Vorsicht! Die Silberfische kommen (2020)


Picture Credit: Die Silberfische

Die Silberfische - Vorsicht! Die Silberfische kommen
Release: July 07, 2020
Format: Vinyl/Digital
Length: 34:46
Origin: Aachen, Germany

Die Silberfische (German: fish moths/slickers) are a quartet formed in 2018 from West German town Aachen. On their first album "Vorsicht! Die Silberfische kommen" (German: "Watch out! The fish moths are coming") they invite us on a gorgeous travel through time and make us wander around the streets of pre-Millenium Western European metropoles.

With drums, bass, guitar and organ Die Silberfische bring back the sound of the 1970s. Their Punk and Indie Rock is heavily influenced by Neue Deutsche Welle (German: "New German Wave"), a style that was mainly popular in the 70s and 80s in West Germany. Read more about this very interesting genre here.
Nostalgia and a bit of selfreflected irony about "the good ol' times" are not only introduced by the music. Lyric-wise Die Silberfische also bring us back to a time when Germany was still separated in East and West. It was the time when "No Future" had a meaning, Depropunk had its hayday and people danced all night long opposing the threats of a nuclear war.
Picture Credit: Die Silberfische

I will pick out three songs that describe the atmosphere on "Vorsicht! Die Silberfische kommen" very well. First, there's 'Walkman' (see video above), a song about recording cassette tapes with your favourite music and silencing the noise of the town by putting on your headphones. Oh the nostalgia! I might be a bit younger than Die Silberfische, but I remember as well.
Second, there's 'Berliner'. Okay, I am too young to have witnessed these contents. Before Germany was reunited, West Berlin was an enclave of the Federal Republic Germany (West) surrounded by the German Democratic Republic (East). People who lived in West Berlin were exempted from conscription. That is why many pacifists and anti-war acitivists moved to West Berlin in those times. German Punk Rock band Die Ärzte (German: "The Doctors") wrote a song about this as well, for those who are interested in the topic.
And third, there's 'Die Technik' (German: "engineering/technology"). Now here the time travel kicks in double. A song released in 2020 presenting the fear of technology taking over humanity in a 1970s discourse. It makes you wonder what has changed since the early fears about computerization and today. I will leave the discussion open.
By the way, the track 'Riesige Roboter' (German: "Giant Robots") takes on a similar subject, robotization.

Now, before I finish, I want to mention some artists that Die Silberfische reminded me of. This might especially be interesting for those who do not know the 70s and 80s German music scene that well.
I drew several comparisons to German Punk Rock/NDW band Rotzkotz,
the rather calm songs have something comparable to electronic pioneers Kraftwerk,
the dark atmosphere can also be found in the works of Fehlfarben,
and finally, the combination of music and lyrics kind of reminds me of Kraut Rock legend Floh de Cologne.
Picture Credit: Die Silberfische

Is this an hommage to "the good ol' times" then? I doubt it. Die Silberfische reproduce the amazing sound of the 70s but their approach is super sarcastic. Retro? Yes. Nostalgic? Indeed. Backwards? Never.
"Vorsicht! Die Silberfische kommen" is a beautiful time travel showing us that back then the world was weird, too. But is used to be weird in sepia, today we have Full HD weird.
Also, the music is just super cool.

Die Silberfische Online:
Homepage (was offline at the time this review was written)

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