Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The Beatles might have been about "peace and bloody love" as a droll Ringo noted at the end of the Anthology DVD series. But in the hands of Laibach out of what we used to call Yugoslavia of the late Eighties, their music sounded like it was ready to invade Poland.
Laibach -- in a thoroughly post-modern and ironic manner (and don't those words sound like cliches of that age now?) -- flirted with Nazi and Iron Curtain iconography -- and stentorian martial music.
They brought their jackboot beat and declamatory vocals to bear on the Stones (Sympathy for the Devil) and the Beatles' album Let It Be.
Unfortunately their Nuremberg Rally version of I've Got a Feeling was little more than a torchlight parade of Queen's We Will Rock You, and -- as Melody Maker noted at the time -- the song Get Back in their hands (fists?) sounded like the Volga boatmen on steroids.
Much of what Laibach delivered -- sort of Kraftwerk functionary-anonymity to the n/th degree as modern workers with tongue-in-jowl humourlessness -- has been superseded by the stadium humour of big, stupid but fun bands like Rammstein who know that both metal music and fascism are so reductive and dumb you could only sidestep any notions of faux-irony and enjoy the moment.
Cannons, blunderbuss and torchlight included.
Jeezus, heaven forbid that any of their fans could take this stuff serious.
It's a joke, folks.
Notably none of these "bands" -- and there are more out there parading this militaristic schtick, sorry for the Yiddish -- have been so dumb as to do Hey Jude as Hey Juden.
That would have been much more dangerous and demanding.
Yes Laibach and Rammstein et al are just kinda dumb fun not to be taken any more seriously than their leaden, charmless and brutally dull gestures were then. And now.
But fun where you don't care to smile other than beyond a wry and weary recognition of their obviousness.
For more oddities, one-offs and songs with an interesting backstory check From the Vaults.