Pabst – ‘Deuce Ex Machina’ reviewed

❉ No if’s or buts, this album is a banger, writes Cori Ann Smith.

Deuce Ex Machina  is the power-punk riff heavy,fuzzy glitter grunge-pop fest from Berlin based trio, Pabst. The band is made up of Erik Heise (vocals guitar), Tilman Kettner (bass) & Tore Knipping (drums).

Following their predecessor and excellent debut Chlorine, the boys are back with their sophomore album released on their own label, Ketchup Tracks. Produced by Moses Schneider, the man responsible for German punk rock royalty, Beatsteaks, Pabst are fresh from playing over 30 festivals in 2019 and supporting (and forming post punk alliances, hopefully!)  the likes of Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü fame, Kadaver and Shonen Knife.

Full of raw, unapologetic energy and enough fuzz to rival Ty Segall, the record exudes the stamina of sweaty revellers on a Saturday at your local bar with post-gig euphoria, on the precipice of something huge. Don’t cha just miss it?

No if’s or buts, this album is a banger.

Opening track Machina, oozes fuzzy stoner glam à la Red Kross, gliding through distorted excitable tempos with a groovy denouement. With an album opener as strong as this one, could it get better?

Dear reader, it does!

Onto the first single Ibuprofen, the trio anthemically celebrate the wonderdrug and hero of all hangovers in a display of indie-punk prowess, inviting you to ‘dissolve and take the pain away,’ with them and their self-proclaimed drug of choice. Next time a hangover is looming, I’ll make sure to get my glass of water and toast to Pabst. Prost, my dudes!

Amongst the impression you get of having lots of fun, Pabst leave plenty of room to navigate an increasingly strained political landscape and the divide that exists between rich and poor, due to the evermore involuntary cultural martyrdom thanks to rapid gentrification in cities, favouring development and lining the pockets of the rich, leaving the arts and music scenes bereft. (I’m looking at you, Cardiff!)

Skyline tackles this head on, specific to Berlin, both a love letter and lament to my favourite city in the world.

Described as a ‘Post-Grunge hymn,’ the band vent their frustrations and condemn the rise of the rich and homeless in the city against a gorgeous wall of distortion, accompanied with a self-deprecating melodic killer hook, ‘This city is no place for losers like us.’

So much for ‘Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei’, huh?

A hand-clapping power banger, Erik Heise apathetically exclaims ‘I’ve become a socialist ‘cause I’m chronically broke,’ in Legal Tender. This song is the ultimate ‘If i didn’t laugh, I’d cry’ moment that will have you simultaneously dancing and resonating with them, hard.

The whole album is a triumph, it made me long for live music to come back. Covid-19 has robbed Pabst of what would’ve been another festival filled summer and the inevitable room made for them at the international table.

The good news is, you’ve got time to catch up before next Summer.

Keep an eye, ‘cos these guys are far from losers and are going to be everywhere.

❉ Pabst – ‘Deuce Ex Machina’ was released June 19 via Ketchup Tracks/The Orchard.  Order the album HERE. 

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❉ Cori Ann Smith is a writer for We Are Cult. A Cardiff-based Literature grad, Horror nerd & eclectic Indie cindy, you’ll mostly find her immersed in a book or in a festival crowd, usually with a beer. Perpetually working on a book of short stories… @coriflowercheez on Twitter.

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