Thursday, August 1, 2013

Underrated Classic - Atari Teenage Riot "Burn, Berlin, Burn!"

One of the most explosive bands in the history of music, the inventors of digital hardcore, Germany's Atari Teenage Riot took to the US shores after Beastie Boys signed them to their Grand Royal label and released the infamous Burn, Berlin, Burn! in 1997. In an interview with Rolling Stone that same year, Beastie Boy Mike D hailed it as "The most punk rock shit ever." While this is not a proper album per-say, it is still the record that defined the bands sound and style for American audiences who never heard of them before. It is a compilation of tracks off their first two records, Delete Yourself! and The Future of War. With all of the tracks produced entirely by the bands mastermind, Alec Empire, it is 14 songs of the most intense, loud, chaotic, and profound music that was released in the 90's and still, 16 years later is still some of the heaviest and loudest material on the planet. Given the compilations titled, the band screamed about in your face post-Berlin Wall German politics, globalization and what the future will hold for the next generation. While the outcome for the future was bleak, one thing was for sure, this record was ahead of the time. Combining the angst of hardcore and punk and mixing it with industrial sounds that had a metal intensity, it was no wonder Slayer teamed up with them a year later for the Spawn soundtrack for the song, "With No Remorse (I Want to Die)." Given the real news, not the celebrity bullshit, nearly two decades later, this album and this band are as important as ever.