I never was an astronaut, I never was a drummer. I never was a Beastie Boy but it doesn’t really matter!
It’s great when there’s a band you grew up with together. I don’t mean that in the sense of you went to the same school, hung out at the same bars or on the same playground etc (even though that is quite cool, too). I mean it in the sense of you discovered them quite young and as you grew up yourself, the band also got bigger and bigger. I love it when you can connect a band’s discography to your own biography. I guess there’s not that many bands out there. And for me one of those bands is definitely Berlin’s finest – the Beatsteaks.
Arnim Teutoburg-Weiß is one of rock’s finest frontman. In a time, when EDM-DJs headline the biggest festivals, rap is making a strong return and pop has found its ‘chique’ again, big rockbands are slowly fading away. I always admired the big frontman who grab the audience by the balls and make them go crazy. It’s a trade hardly any young band has to offer. And it’s one of the key reasons for the success the Beatsteaks have had since I stumbled across them on an Epitaph Records compilation. I’ll never forget the first show on the “Smack Smash” tour in Basel, when Arnim lost his voice an hour into the show. The band continued for another 30 minutes with the rest of the band taking over the vocal duties and barking out pissed off Ramones covers. I’ll never forget the excitement of watching the video for “Let Me In” on Select MTV after school. And I’ll definitely never forget them headlining the biggest festivals in Germany. They are one of those bands that played their socks off to be where they are today. Their seventh album is simply called ‘Beatsteaks’ and it went straight to No. 1 in the German album charts.
The last time the band proved how vital Arnim is, was last friday at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, when during one of the messiest (and sweatiest) sets of the festival, Arnim disappeared in the crowd for two songs leaving every eye to follow his every step, repeating every “wohoo” or “ahhh” in unison. But while live might be Arnim’s standout discipline, the album is the masterpiece of drummer Thomas Götz. His dry and precise drumming has always made for some of the band’s best songs (Atomic Love, Under A Clear Blue Sky, Hand in Hand) and on this record the drumming seems even more dominant in the mix. The bass is also rolling like a thunderous Am-Trak down the Westcoast.
The 11 songs feel like a solid album again. It’s not as fractured as “Boombox” (the bands first no.1 album). And while some people might be slightly disappointed by the lack of surprises, I have to say that it all just feels so right. It’s a Beatsteaks album, with the punk rock smash hit (DNA), it’s got the slacker-radio single (Gentleman of the Year) and it’s got two of the best songs the band has ever written on it! Make a Wish, this beauty of an end of summer anthem. It carries this feeling of youth, the punk rock days in the near past, the kiss on the lips of your summer fling, or the sea breeze reflecting yesterdays sun rays. And then there’s I Never Was with a classic guitar intro, the hefty drums and the anthemic “ooohs” and “aaahs”. And then, after a quick “here it comes, let it grow”, there’s this reverb-heavy guitar and the perfect fade out for a great song and a really great 7th album. Ending with a simple “Good Night”.
“Beatsteaks” by “Beatsteaks” is out now via Warner Music!