Young und Reich

Fake Germans patriotically tie their boots in little knotsies

Young, fast, and scientific, Hanzel und Gretyl's ersatz Kraut-rock makes dance-metal out of the goose step and sieg heil. Über Alles is a rock opera aimed at our SS troops on the stairway to the stars; the Baron von Strucker comic-book-Deutsch lyrics make everything ganz klarto even those without a Cassell's German-English dictionary.

There are mach schnells and jawohls delivered with fervor, and drum sequences rock-ribbed enough to satisfy an übergruppenführer. Halfway through there's an intermission so you can pour yourself a schnapps or grab some marzipan before returning to the rally. "Transplutonian Annihilation" is the catchiest mantra of the bunch, its title beat-synced to an electronic riff. The greatest appeal of the act is in its krank—that's ill—talent for making Teutonic exhortation into a rhythm instrument.

Hanzel und Gretyl cater to the inner desire Americans have to be dressed in German militaria and curtly ordered around by functionaries of the Bund. As for themselves, H und G seem to have a preference for lederhosen and clumsy-looking boots, but would probably make allowances for anyone with fetishes ranging from Stahlhelms to riding crops.

No oven jokes, at least
photo: Kristin Callahan
No oven jokes, at least

It's too bad stuff like Über Alles can't get played on classic rock radio. It would be poetry to hear a greasy announcer cackle, "And that was 'Third Reich From the Sun' "—just the thing for the homeward drive or happy hour in the United Fatherland of America.

 
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