The Germans’ Girls Under Glass new studio album “Backdraft” is best described as a creative explosion that lets all the beloved sounds of their previous works shine brightly and combined on this record.int.
“Backdraft” easily shifts gears from catchy gothic rock to electronic dark wave and up to melodic post-punk. All the elements that turned the band into a bedrock of the dark side of the German rock and wave scene are back in one way or another and enhanced by juicy additions of post-punk and even industrial ingredients.
And while the sounds are immediately reminiscent of the 80s and early 90s, Girls Under Glass have not just rested on their past creative laurels but upgraded their music to the new millennium. The Hamburgians are as unmistakably moving through their own musical world as ever and their renewed passion is audible in every note.
This self-referencing approach to reach exciting new sound dimensions is reflected in the album title, which is alluding to a phenomenon that can occur in the course of large fires When a fire has exhausted most of the oxygen in a largely closed space, the resulting gases can quickly lose volume while cooling down. This creates a vacuum effect that sucks air in from surrounding areas through any opening into the partially closed space. If enough oxygen enters the room, it can reignite and lead to an explosion.
In artistic terms something similar happened, when Girls Under Glass started composing some new tracks for an EP to round off a planned boxset of their complete works. The fire reignited and songs kept coming The band from Hamburg understood that their batteries had recharged to bursting point after a 17 year break and the projected EP turned into a full-length.
Of course, nothing stays the same after such a long time and even though Girls Under Glass revisited their classic sounds, something fresh and new came out of the recordings. This also reflects in the lyrics, which in 2023 are less personal than before but reflect on the dystopian issues of our times. As it turns out, such lyrical themes are a perfect fit for the powerful and often sinister current sound of the Hamburgians.
Yet although things change, sometimes they also return to a previous state. Former vocalist Thomas “Tom” Lücke has not only joined the band again on stage where he alternated with current singer Volker Zacharias , but Tom also recorded with Girls Under Glass as he is singing on the tracks of the EP that comes out alongside this album.
Girls Under Glass started out in the city of Hamburg in 1986 and quickly became one of the spearheads of the German gothic rock and dark wave scene. From 1994 until 2006, the band expanded their musical horizon and experimented with rock, crossover, and even metal sounds. . With an impressive discography under their belt and a massive loyal fanbase, it came of something of a shock when the band seemed to fizzle out of existence.
Luckily, the long wait is finally over: Girls Under Glass return with a fiery and passionate full-length. “Backdraft” will return the band to where it belongs: on top!
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