Tin Drum — The Edge of Insanity
(Rockwerk Records LC 8248, 1994, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 1994-10-01Here we have a limited edition debut CD by an amazing new German band with musical roots tracing back to the halcyon days of Krautrock and Pink Floyd. This foursome of Hotty Melz (lead vocals, guitars, sax), Georg Hullenkremer (guitars, keys, sitar), Dirk Ebert (bass, backing vocals), and Mauricio Jungbauer (drums, vibes) assembled seven melancholic songs covering such topics as frustration with the human condition, unrequited love, and insanity. Despite the depressing nature of the English lyrics, the music is surprisingly upbeat. The first three songs ("States of a Journey," "Dayzes," and "The Cross") are fairly run-of-the-mill rock tunes and you might enjoy this CD better if you program your player to start with track 4, "The Painter and the Moment." At this point The Edge of Insanity begins to flourish with a late 60s psychedelic ambiance permeating the music. "The Painter and the Moment" has a very simple acoustic guitar arrangement combined with some outstanding electric guitar and Mellotron-like strings on the refrain. This song is a perfect vehicle for taking a journey inside your mind. Building on the strength of this song, Tin Drum now presents "Mindslave," a 12-minute dose of laidback Krautrock guitars and drums. The guitar licks are so strong at the end of the song that they compel you to stand up and play a virtuoso "air guitar" solo. And at this point there are still 33 minutes of music left on the disk! Now Tin Drum really kicks out the jams with the 21-minute title track. This trippy opus builds much like The Doors' classic "The End," yet it is unmistakably Tin Drum's vehicle. This song goes through many changes, recalling at times Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" from Dark Side of the Moon and "Mother" from The Wall without their lush commercial arrangements, Jimi Hendrix's guitar pyrotechnics, and the Victorian feel of Pulsar's Halloween. After this breathtaking performance you welcome the chance to unwind with the 12-minute acoustic ballad "Playing Shakespeare in the Rain." The Edge of Insanity is a highly recommended debut release that is sure to please those of you who yearn for that laid back psychedelic music of yore.
Related artist(s): Tin Drum
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