You know, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from a new Laibach album, having not heard anything by them since their 1988 masterpiece Let it Be (now 26 years old). I’d been a casual fan, to put it mildly (also the owner of their 1987 Wax Trax! Records release, Opus Dei), so when Spectre found its way into my eye while on a weekend getaway up in Ventura Country, I couldn’t help but snatch it up thinking, why the hell not? I’ll be honest and say I’d (wrongfully) thought of Laibach as a long, running joke, what with their over-the-top fascist military uniforms and “totalitarian-style aesthetics.” What I found, thus far, from the six or so tracks I’ve consumed, is a collective sticking to their guns, or marching to their own beat, or waving their own flag (I’m tapped out of military references), while still maintaining their classic, oppressive, industrial sound. Like with any Laibach track, the beauty is found within repeated listens, and Spectre is no exception. Certain hilarious lyrics stand out that cue certain track repeats, but not one time, thus far, have I regretted my purchase, if only for feeding my overflowing curiosity.
Laibach brings such a cynical smile to my face, I border on fits of maniacal laughter. Life is Life is a classic, and comical oppressionist Industrial hymn, and is the perfect relief for the Friday afternoon doldrums. To be completely honest, I’m not 100% sure that Laibach’s brand of persecution theme music is to be taken sincerely. By themselves, Laibach songs can raise the weary eyebrow of the unsuspecting ear, but when coupled with a blatant, over the top video (such as Life is Life, or the Beatles cover, Across the Universe), one can’t help but break out in a rash of uncontrollable snickers.
If you can get past the repetitious hammering and deep-throated persecution, Laibach is comedy gold, with a brainwashing beat. This, and all Laibach comes HIGHLY recommended by the PG.
In 1988, Laibach, Slovenian grandfathers of avant-garde industrial, released Let It Be, a cover of the famous Beatles album of the same name. Apart from the deviant departure in genres, Laibach’s Let It Be bypasses Maggie Mae and the title track to the album, but offers a strikingly charming and elegant version of Across the Universe amongst its polluted sea of military-inspired, industrial-themed, Cold War anthems.
This cover album is worthy of a listen, if just for the sheer cat-killing curiosity factor. Laibach is a bitter pill to swallow, especially for fans of top 40 radio, but gentility and fascination certainly make their glowing presence known throughout this 11-track cover album. Diehard Beatles fans may see this as a chronically sick joke, and I imagine, above all else, that was without question Laibach’s main objective during the production of this legendary album. If you don’t like the harpsichord, steer clear of this, and every other Laibach album, but if you’ve got an ear for prideful adventure, seek out this version of Let It Be. There will undoubtedly be a strong divide separating your time before Laibach, and your time after them. Good luck, and I’ll see you on the other side.
Note to self… do NOT spend the morning drinking mimosas and yelling at the television for your 4th string quarterback to complete a pass longer than 6 yards if you’ve got 3+ hours of audio editing to produce. In this week’s coupon-cutting installment, we enjoy the talents of Butter 08, James Booker, Thomas Bangalter, Minutemen, Laibach, Jim & Ingrid Croce, Holy F*ck and Rocket from the Crypt. It’s late, and I’m tired, but here it is… another example of how willing I am to waste my precious time. Enjoy!