War Zone K17 (Metropolis)
by Scott Hefflon
If Funker Vogt haven’t always been political, they sure are now, as this CD title reflects. If they weren’t on The Matrix soundtrack, they shoulda been. I’ve been a believer since 2005’s Navigator, the band’s first full-length since 2002’s Survivor, which featured the band’s first flirtation with live guitars, as well as the band’s first ballad. Navigator is one of those start-to-finish CDs, one of the rare releases you put in, press play, and don’t leap across the room to skip over “those shitty songs.” War Zone K17 is a double live CD, and my favorite parts are, well, the songs I already cherish, but performed live. Perhaps long-time fans will skip around less than I am on this one, but, to me, the band’s best songs are from the Navigator days, so that’s what I’m drawn to again and again. The song lyrics are in English, the between-song banter is in German, the songs are cold, beat-driven, yet melodic in a hard, pulsing way. This ain’t Pet Shop Boys synth pop, nor is it Ministry’s metal yowl. Funker Vogt are, and always have been, hardcore: Chanting, throbbing, haunting-to-fuck-with-you. While live releases aren’t my thing, the band themselves are one of the top ten hard electronic bands for those into song-driven industrial rock.