I picked this one up on a whim, having been one of the many to be blown away by "Panzermensch" in the clubs. Although that track is not on this album, I figured it must be the same music....
Well. Not really.
What first struck me about And One is their derivative Depeche Mode-ish stylings -- except in German. Apparently this is a return to the stylings of their previous albums (pre-Virgin Superstar, the album Panzermensch is on)
Going between EBM and electro comes smoothly.
So in a nutshell:
1. Kein Anfang - A pretty generic beginning, reminding me a bit of NINny with the sounds they have chosen. It's only an intro, though, so it gets better!
2. Schwarz - The first DM style synth bits sit over a nice 4x4 beat for the verses, only to pick up and go into one of the nicest choruses I've heard in electro in a long time, complete with choral backings... nice!
3. Krieger - This IS Depeche Mode out of the gate! Think "Some Great Reward" era. A nice build up, complete with big piano/metal hits that reminded me absolutely of "Black Celebration"
4. Sternradio - Probably my favorite track on the album. After a very 80s bass-line intro, the vocals come in, followed by some necessary electro-noises. Slowly the music builds up around the bass and vocals, culminating in a cool chorus that, to the best of my German, talks about winners, losers, singing in stereo and choirs. I don't know. Its in German, it sounds cool, and lyrics are overrated anyway! I only wish the "chipmunk" voice was not used in one part. It really makes it sound cheesy.
5. Spicherbar - Classic EBM start, in the vein of Nitzer Ebb, except that there's singing, not chanting, happening here. Despite the start, the music weaves into a pop-song structure very quickly. It's one of the slower, nicer tracks on the album. More laid-back and easy, despite the re-emerging 16th note EBM-bass.
6. Fehlschlag - Starting with a carnival-type sound, this track also builds into a verse replete with classic EBM sound-effects. The chorus, though, left something to be desired. The build-up bridge was cool, but once the vocals kicked in, it felt a bit generic compared to the interesting build-up.
7. Fur Immer - This track gets closer to a more recognizable EBM styling, with less homage-de-DM. The lyrics are even sung in a more deep, growling style that is reminiscent less of crooning 80s synth-pop, and more of early German industrial acts.
8. Einstieg - A musical interlude that serves as a break to lead us into...
9. Strafbomber - Front 242 meets Front Line Assembly? This is industrial/EBM to a tee, and is the closest to Panzermensch we've seen so far. Only it does not have the same catchy hook. This one, I think, is here to appease the rivet-heads. Very hard, very dark, and very bouncy. Unfortunately not as memorable as the first half of the album.
10. Fernsehapparat - hey. Someone else is singing. I really don't know enough about these guys to know who is who, but this guy's voice is higher and less, well, teutonic! This is continuing the EBM/industrial end of the spectrum, and almost reminded me of RevCo minus the super-hard Al J. guitars. Simple, straight ahead and formula, to be honest.
11. Tote Tulpen - And we go right to the source, now, with a DAF inspired, super-basic, noisy electro-bleep track. Everything sounds metallic, and the music has been stripped down to basic beats and boings.
12. Kein Ende - The outro. Almost like a horn band at the end of a long night. Just some random bits being played very slowly. A melancholy release.