Sound — 7
WBTBWB was formed in 2007 as a duo by Marcel Neumann and Tobias Schultka, originally as a joke, covering German folk tales and nursery rhymes metalcore-style. The electronic element of their sound got mixed in pretty soon, and they began writing and recording more serious songs. By the release of their second album, "Der Tag An Dem Die Welt Unterging" in 2010, they had 3 new members join the band - Maximilian Saux on bass, Can Özgünsür on drums, and Kenneth Duncan on rhythm guitar. Oddly enough, Tobias Schultka left the band right after the same album release to pursue a career as an app develop for Apple devices. He was replaced on vocals by Paul Bartzsch in late 2010. In 2012 the band released an EP with the new lineup titled "Projekt Herz" followed by a full-length album in 2013 called "Goldkinder." "Wieder Geil!" is the band's fourth full-length album, and the second full-length album with the current lineup. There are 10 tracks on the album, with a runtime of approximately 36 minutes.
The album opens up with the track, "Ich Mach Was Mit Medien," which the interwebz insists translates to "I'll Do What With Media." It is a pretty strong track to open up the album, with a good mix of electronica and metal - and the breakdown is basically a short EDM break. "Exorzist" is the second track on the album, and opens up with a nice creepy vibe that is fitting for the track title - a lot of vocal styles are utilized on this track, and used pretty well. The chorus does mainly consist of the word "Exorzist" being repeated in a growled voice. "Anarchy" has an almost "industrial" intro, but quickly goes into a fairly traditional metalcore sound. "Berlin, Berlin!" utilizes some female vocals, both for some "aahs" and then for some screamed "Berlin, Buh Buh Berlin!" The vocals are mostly in German, but they have a strong cadence on this track. "Bang Bang Bang" has a really strong electronica/hip-hop sound in the intro, but when the guitars come in they are extremely heavy but simplistic. The breakdown sounded like the main melody being played on some orchestral strings and some different vocal growls of "Bang." "Gib Mir Mehr," which translates to "Give Me More," has a very traditional metal/metalcore opening - the vocals have an interesting cadence where I feel like the lyrics would be entertaining but alas, I still haven't taught myself German. "Rockstar" is a high energy track with some really out of place "oot oots" going on. From what I can tell, the lyrics are roughly about how everybody thinks that the songwriter is a rockstar but he's still broke. "Thug Life" is actually in English - the message of the lyrics is basically summed up as "get your life right." "Warum Lieben Wir Nicht Mehr?" translates roughly to "why we love no longer?," and is a pretty aggressive song in the context of the rest of the album. The album closes out with the track "Zombieb-tch," which is a very uncomplimentary song about a female who is always hungry/greedy and expects to always get what they want. It seems like one of the most serious songs on the album, and is a fairly dark note to end the album on. The chorus of the song is basically, "zombie b-tch zombie b-tch/ super silly zombie b-tch."
Lyrics — 7
Paul Bartzsch provides lead vocals on the album, which I'm assuming means he does the clean vocals and one of the growled vocals. There are layered lead vocals on several songs which means he's either doing a lot of stuff in the studio they can't recreate live, or else at least one of the other members of the band (or a guest) is providing some pretty strong vocals that seem to be uncredited. The lyrics are mostly in German, and even after reading some bad translations on the internet I'm not completely sure I have a 100% grasp on the lyrics. As a sample of the lyrics, I'm going to choose one of the songs that are actually in English, of course, so here are some from "Thug Life": "Get up, get up/ and listen to your heart, yeah/ don't lose yourself and don't give a f--k/ shut up, shut up/ you're talking a fool/ so what you gonna do when you're life's a f--king mess/ this insane nation/ save yourself, break the shell/ escape from hell/ all these temptations/ If you're gonna let them go we will rise tonight/ stand up, stand up/ don't fool yourself/ be who you really are." I can stand behind those lyrics... good stuff.
Overall Impression — 6
At some point the question of whether an album is "good" or not comes down to if it is entertaining - and "Wieder Geil!" is that; entertaining. If you're strictly a metalhead, or strictly into metalcore, deathcore, mathcore, what-have-you, then you may not like this band, but they are at least different. What they're doing differently than most other bands in similar genres is creating an electronic-heavy metalcore sound that still sounds like a metalcore band. Other bands may have some light usage of electronica as a musical flourish, or there are some bands with heavy usage of electronica that occasionally throw in a distorted guitar, etc. The middle ground that WBTBWB treads is unique, and entertaining. With all that being said, they aren't going to heavy rotation on any of my playlists, but I'm not gonna skip any tracks off this album if they come on. My favorite songs are "Zombieb-tch," "Thug Life," and "Gib Mir Mehr." I don't really dislike any of the album, though there are definitely some weaker tracks.