Music

Life Goes on Long After the Thrill of Perishing is Gone

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Laibach continue to trample ideology under layers of irony and martial beats. Accused in the past of being both Communists and fascists, the group made their international reputation by reworking historical and political symbols until the symbols no longer had any clear meaning. On their new WAT, they also seem at times to be reworking their past industrial style into a more stripped-down version, but they still maintain a pervasive air of portentousness and still accompany Milan Fras’s gutturals with massive chorales. The album’s opening track, a grandiloquent English-language remake of “B Mashina,” is better kitsch than the more modest original by fellow Slovene band Siddharta because Laibach delivers lines like “millions of machines on nitroglycerin” as if they were official communiqués from God.

Meanwhile, they march their tongue-in-cheek Teutoniphilia in a new direction with “Tanz Mit Laibach,” a celebration of German-American friendship that uses terms like “demokratie,” “faschismus,” and “anarchie” interchangeably while looking forward to both nations moving on to Baghdad. Laibach may pride themselves on being “no ordinary type of group” because they “don’t seduce with melodies” and are “not here to please you,” as they state on WAT‘s title track. But an agreeable anti-war message seems to lurk within their multilingual stew of ideological buzzwords and militaristic imagery. Of course, Laibach are probably sending themselves up, too—but that’s just another layer of irony that listeners will have to peel away.

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