7 oder 9
WATCH & LISTEN
“A little bit basement, a little bit dirty, a little bit rock, a lot of Hamburg!” That’s what Trixsi say about Trixsi on Facebook and it describes the first album of this anything but young band pretty aptly. “Frau Gott” will be released on June 26, 2020 on Glitterhouse Records and had anyone ever searched for the intersection of a liaison between Love A, Herrenmagazin, Findus and Jupiter Jones, we don’t know if they would have come up with this sound.
What naturally sets this debut apart from classic firsts is the decades of band experience all five Trixsis bring from the aforementioned bands. Paul Konopacka, bassist for Herrenmagazin, plays the drums here, Torben Leske, also of Herrenmagazin, plays one guitar, Kristian Kühl, formerly of Findus, plays the other, on bass is former Jupiter Jones bassist Klaus Hoffmann and on vocals is Jörkk Mechenbier, of Love A and Schreng Schreng & La La fame. When trying to categorize the result, Jörkk doesn’t even shy away from the pigeonhole German rock, which tends to make indie/alternative/punk/post-something devotees black in the face. “Torben insists that we are a rock band. Why not? German rock is better than its reputation. German rock only fails because people have no subculture and no socio-critical mission, whereas we started making music in the first place because of our worldview and political stance.”
Yet “Frau Gott” is much more colorful than their press spokesman would have us believe. The eleven songs are as diverse and layered as their five composers; from stinking everyday despair (“Menschen”) to the doomed attempt at senseless conformity (“Stetig/Redlich” or “Ab Morgen”) to the most infantile silliness (“7 oder 9”), Trixsi pour themselves instrumentally and lyrically with facets and variety. “I separate the garbage conscientiously, although my house has only one garbage can” plods the fool in “Stetig/Redlich”. Completely different relationship problems haunt the protagonist in “Ab Morgen”: “I missed Nick Cave at a festival. I was lying in the tent with vomit all over me. You said that wasn’t funny at all, you scolded and sulked.”
Life, after all, was invented a bit to fail over and over again just when you thought you might somehow get your act together after all. That’s what Trixsi play and sing about. In some places you can bump into Pavement (“Menschen”), then we encounter moments of second wave Brit Pop à la Arctic Monkeys or Maximo Park (“Autobahn”), feel reminded of Sebadoh (“Stetig/Redlich”) or Built to Spill (“Ab Morgen”). And even with threatening end part mood Trixsi don’t lose their humor and keep their self-irony.
Memories of childhood in “7 or 9” sound like this: “War only existed in grandpa’s stories and in front of the sand castle with Kai. King Hamster was the chancellor I chose, which was okay, because he was cool and never mean.” Significantly, the five relocated gentrifiers close their album with a self-deprecating genre diss, “IroCityExpress,” which in the best three-chord manner and a running time of 1.20 minutes pokes fun at punk rock attitudes: “You can’t always just listen to Trixsi and that Hamburg-hip shit!” By far not everyone sees it that way, because especially live Trixsi are very special fun. Something almost magical happens when these five late-comers share their love of music on stage. “With us, everyone is a hard fan of what the others have done and are doing musically so far,” Jörkk describes this cuddly intimate mood that spills off the stage like a warm wave and pours over the audience.
Music is allowed to do everything and yet we have to disagree a bit with Trixsi’s partly defeatist lines. “Everything that people do is sad, because they don’t know how to be happy” is what “Menschen” wants us to believe. Maybe so, but “Frau Gott” manages to stimulate the endorphin release and put the everyday frustration into perspective already on the first run-through. And be it only because we do not despair alone. To set to music the absurdity and inadequacy of the human condition, nothing less has succeeded in this debut. A moist melancholic cheer for Trixsi and now: “Stay down forever!”