''Extremely unique madness in lyrics and sounds'': A review of Mono für Alle!'s ''#D.I.Y. - Live''
Mono für Alle! is a very particular German underground trio that mixes distorted electronica, experimental extreme metal, powerful hardcore punk, nostalgic psychedelic rock and naive Schlager music. In addition to this, keyboarder and singer Mono, bassist Yenzzo and drummer Kick from the bourgeois smalltown of Gießen deliver disturbingly provocative lyrics that deal with offensive contradictions in our contemporary society. Their songs portray the nefarious influences of capitalist global players on the environment, ruthless security services on privacy and far right and left extremists on our society. In addition to this, the band refuses to make money with their music and offers most of their releases as free downloads, avoids every kind of social media presence and plays only small underground festivals as well as weird locations from endagered nature reserves over isolated hippie beaches to filthy youth centers. The band has already performed in exotic places from Cuba over Spain to the United Kingdom as well. The band's unique image is the reason for a small but faithful cult following that hasn't decreased despite the fact that the trio hasn't released any physical record since the controversial single ''11. September'' ten years ago.
Now, the trio is back with a live release recorded at several concerts during last year's ''Do it Yourself'' tour across Germany and its neighboring countries after a break of several years that the band had spent on a remote Greek island. If you experience one of the band's rare live appearances, you will realize that their live versions sound much faster, heavier and more improvised than the studio takes. In general, the band likes to work with both lyrical and musical extremes. On one side, you get an almost relaxed ballad with harmonious harmonica sounds and an echoing rhythm section as in ''Hallo Verfassungschutz'' where the vocals starts in a naive way before they get more menacing and finally quite hysterical as well as the almost ridicolously catchy pop song ''Honecker komm zurück'' which is driven by simplistic organ sounds and a childish chorus that invites to sway from side to side. Between both extremes, you have tunes like the dragging and depressive bass-driven ''Arbeitsagentur'' or the short ''Facebook Youtube Google'' that mixes laid-back melodic verses carried by joyous organ sounds with uneasy and nearly hysterical choruses. On the other side, you get some more extreme and experimental cuts such as the chaotic and sped-up electro-punk version of ''Steineschmeißer'' that almost sounded like a sixties' pop song in its initial version or the brutal and fast delivery of ''Gentrification'' that barely recalls the danceable electro-pop song that was the original studio version.
In about thirty-eight minutes, you get everything this anticonformist, non categorizable and rebellious beatnik trio stands for. The band offers revamped versions of old classics such as the psychedelic krautrock track ''Boykottiert McDonald's'' where the radically factual message is completely opposed to the jam-like music but also some new stuff such as the mellower ''Ekelhafter Antisemit'' that though comes around with some filthy social criticism. This album is just as great as the mostly improvised and psychedelic ''San Pedro Konzert'' live release twelve years earlier which has gained a cult status among fans and has become a rare collector's item.
Mono für Alle! is a band that polarizes like almost no other. You will either madly adore this mixture of focused lyrics and chaotic music put into insane song structures or heavily despise the fusion of offensive texts and nerve-firing noise experiments. There really is nothing in between these two opinions from a subjective point of view. No matter which side you choose, one thing is certain: ''#D.I.Y. - Live'' is a most unique experiment for your mind and your ears. That's why I urge you to check this release out no matter what. Hurry up if you want to get your hands on this outstanding release since the cassette, CD and vinyl versions are strictly limited and already rather hard to find. If you want to go a safer way, you can purchase this coeval live monument on iTunes.
Final verdict: 10/10
Please support the band and check out the following links:
iTunes (North America): https://itunes.apple.com/zw/album/d.i.y.-live/id1013503388
Merchandise (Germany/Europe): http://www.fantotal.de/en/mono-fuer-alle/cd-mono-fuer-alle-d-i-y-tour.html« ''Renaissance or downfall?'': A review of Megaherz' ''Zombieland''''Still shining in the dark'': A review of Iron Maiden's ''The Book of Souls'' »