Frau Fleischer – When The Sun’s Down
Release Date: 23.11.21
Running Time: 34:27
Review by Dark Juan
Hello, good afternoon and welcome. I am still Dark Juan and it appears that I am not able to stop myself writing banal crap for you all to waste your valuable time on! As you might expect, this doesn’t bother me one iota and barely even registers on my “give-a-fuckometer” because you all know that at some point I will actually get down to business and talk about a record I am listening to instead of just chatting sheer bubbles like I always do for the first three hundred words of a review. Well, here’s a fucking shock for you, boys, girls, and all other genders because we are only one hundred and thirty odd words in so far and I am in no mood to fuck about…
Frau Fleischer are a French Industrial Metal band formed in 2020, and I believe that this album is their debut. I am sure that you are all aware that Dark Juan is a massive and vociferous ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, as I believe that you should be free to love whomever you choose, and to identify as whichever gender is right for you, regardless of what other people might think. As a straight man, I do not care what set of genitals a person might prefer, and I don’t believe it makes one fucking jot of difference who you love or are attracted to. I have told you this because Frau Fleischer are very involved with the LGBTQIA+ community and are fronted by a cross dressing drag queen. Granted, paedophiles are trying to reinvent themselves as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, but with my job I have EXTREMELY OLD-FASHIONED views about child molesters, and they generally involve my being locked in a room with said perverted motherfuckers with a power drill, a number of rusty and blunt saws, a meathook, and immunity from prosecution. Paedophiles are NOT LGBTQIA+ people. They are twisted fucks who need to be eradicated.
Frau Fleischer are fronted by the extraordinarily glamorous Gabriel Daimon, whose gender bending persona forms an immediate and arresting visual focal point for the band, combining the sparkly, sequined joie de vivre of modern drag with the metallic fury of Greg Lambert on the guitar and Franz Schultz, who is responsible for the electronic element of Frau Fleischer’s sound. And what do they sound like, I heard absolutely no-one cry?
Well, Mr/ Miss/ Ms/ Mx No-one, imagine the sadomasochistic sounds of Combichrist indulging themselves with British leather-clad Techno-Metallers, Cubanate, and American musical BDSM enthusiasts Genitorturers in Torture Garden. It’s all blood soaked, latex clad, kinky sex and violence and shibari done by an impeccably turned out drag queen, in a gorgeous frock, who has a real problem with authority.
The album opens with ‘Sacrifice’, which is very reminiscent of Combichrist until the choppy, Industrial guitar slams in and the languid, liquid vocal of Daimon overpins the lot, in what can only be described as an attempt to be lascivious. It just doesn’t make me horny though, despite the overt sexuality. The song moves at a spanking (sic) pace and is a perfectly fine Industrial tune, but it doesn’t really do anything different from other Industrial music. With the obvious flamboyance of the lead singer, I would imagine Frau Fleischer works better in the live and visual medium. While the music is right up my black and filthy alley, I think it suits a crowd in a sweaty club better than as a recording. ‘Holy Crown’ does nothing to dispel this thought – perfectly adequate on record, being as it is more sharp, cutting guitar melded with the kind of Aggrotech that gets me frothing at the mouth, I can’t help but think it would be an absolute live banger.
…And there is the main problem I have with this record. It would be better live. All of it. The music requires over the top, vaudeville performance to go with it. As a recorded work, it is missing something, and that something is a bunch of outlandishly dressed fans shouting every word back at the band over a ridiculously overpowered PA – ‘Baby I’m Free’ displays this perfectly on the very VNV Nation-esque middle eight, which has a massive chant-a-thon just itching to be screamed back at Gabriel Daimon by a thousand dedicated fans. ‘Bagarre’ is far and away the best song on the record, mixing savage Black Metal riffing with terror EBM, Gothic splendor, and the kind of threatening sexuality last seen displayed by Jessica Priest, in that godawful film adaptation of Spawn in the 90s.
There are other issues too. I am not a huge fan of Daimon’s vocal delivery, which is too loose and relaxed when the music is moving quickly, and occasionally he slips out of tune. Being lugubrious is not the be all and end all, ask Dave Vanian and Adam Ant. More precision would be appreciated by this jaded rock hack. Sometimes as well, (and this is a minor problem considering I can barely write in English, let alone any other language) you can easily tell through inflection and lyrical structure that the words were not written by a native English speaker. I tend to look at this as a charming thing, rather than a demerit, though. I have tried writing lyrics in a foreign language and it is fucking impossible so it always mightily impressive when non-English speakers masters our most idiosyncratic language. The album is abominably produced as well, being phenomenally woolly and soft-edged and ridiculously quiet, and the guitar sound far too sharp. Frequently, the interplay between the electronics and the guitar sounds are like two songs being played at the same time, and that simply won’t do with this style of music. There HAS to be precision at all times, and it has to sound like it was planned that way all along.
All in all this is a very worthy debut, but there is the sense that everyone is trying too hard to be different. Relax, gentlepersons. You’re a couple of inches away from being utterly brilliant. You have an extremely engaging front person and the music slams. Chill the fuck out, okay?
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Le système breveté d’évaluation des éclaboussures de sang Dark Juan) awards Frau Fleischer 7/10 for a record that is brimming with possibilities, but doesn’t deliver the colossal musical multiple orgasm it promises.
02. Holy Crown
03. Piece Of Meat
04. Baby I’m Free
07. Bloody Curls
08. A Boy Was Shot
09. Bad Girl
Gabriel Daimon – Vocals
Greg Lambert – Guitars
Franz Schultz – Electronics
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