Category: Die Kreuzen

Die Kreuzen – Century Days

ARTIST: Die Kreuzen               220px-Die_Kreuzen_-_Century_Days

TITLE:  Century Days

YEAR RELEASED: 1988

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s a negative

LINEUP: Keith Brammer, Brian Egeness, Dan Kubinski, Erik Tunison. Help from Tim Cole and Peter Balistrieri

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Die Kreuzen slows it down. Dan Kubinski doesn’t scream as much. Eh.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Die Kreuzen had good notices and a decent live show, but it seemed never to really get over on a record. On this third full-length, vocal shredder Dan Kubinski slows down and actually sings some songs, and the band reduces the tempo away from being mostly hardfastrules.

Somehow, though, that didn’t improve the proceedings. It seems turgid and bloated at times, and the production from Butch Vig doesn’t do the band any favors (though the band is also credited with co-producing, so he may have just made sure the tape was rolling properly…) By the time “Halloween” comes on to liven up the place a bit, it’s too late.

Whatever the wags were saying, and how good the press WAS in the day, I’m not hearing it. So I’m off the Die Kreuzen train after exiling this.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They released their last record in 1991, but have reunited for shows. Why wouldn’t they?

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: C: I may be missing something, but I’m just not feeling this. They seem to be running in place on this one.

Die Kreuzen – October File

ARTIST: Die Kreuzen 220px-Die_Kreuzen_-_October_File
TITLE: October File
YEAR RELEASED: 1986
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I mixed It’s Been So Long a lot, maybe that’s how you’ve heart it?? (I kid…)
LINEUP: Keith Brammer, Brain Egeness, Dan Kubinski, Erik Tunison
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from Wisconsin’s punks reduces the speed, increases the musicality, but still has a vocal liability.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Are vocals that important for a hard rock / punk band? Well, lyrics may not be but a singer’s gotta at least be worth listening to. Therein is the problem for Die Kreuzen.

Kubinski’s a shrieker, which is fine – many vocalists are. But he’s out of the area code in terms of being near the tune quite a bit of the time. On some songs, it doesn’t matter (the longer and slower it is, believe it or not, the more tolerable it is as Kubinski doesn’t feel the need to scream). On others, though, it’s just not worth it. This time, though, the vocals are a bit lower in the mix so he blends in better.

The band is more mature and play with sensitivity when needed. There are a few solid keeper tracks. However, it’s still a land mine that you have to navigate if you, like me, have a big issue with the vocals. Take it one track at a time.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They were originally called The Stellas.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but this is on CD with their debut.

GRADE: C+: It’s better; I’m keeping some tracks. “Been So Long” is great. But, man, shrieking out of tune isn’t for me, at least not here.

Die Kreuzen – Die Kreuzen

ARTIST: Die Kreuzen Die_Kreuzen_-_Die_Kreuzen
TITLE: Die Kreuzen
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Did you hang out in punk rock clubs in Wisconsin in the early 80’s?
LINEUP: Keiith Brammer, Brian Egeness, Dan Kubinski, Erik Tunison
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Hardcore punk with a vocalist that needs a throat lozenge.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Die Kreuzen were among the first truly Midwestern hardcore punk bands that made somewhat of the national scene. They had a decent guitarist and bassist and weren’t all 100% loudfastrules.

But…but…but…their power was diminished by their vocalist, Dan Kubinski. He yowls and rasps in a very, shall we say, harsh manner that sounds like a yowling cat with emphysema.

Later they’d slow things down and become more effective, but their first hardcore records are just a blur of painful screaming with some decent guitar and bass lines (that’s the only redemption). I’ve tried, since some swear by this band (who are they, dunno, but I’ve heard…)

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They released an EP before this album, but they re-recorded the entire EP for this release.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: C-: There’s something to hear here, but you really can’t tune out the vocals