Das Flff

[Meditation and Violence sleeve]"Meditation and Violence" (Album, 2013) !Recommended!


Seemingly never having heard of the concept of 'the difficult second album', dark electro rockers Das Flff's sophomore album entirely overshadows its predecessor (2011's Would You Die For Me?), presenting a more compelling, fully-formed view of the Das Fluff universe. Their readiness to flex the boundaries of genre boxes remains though, with no excessive restraints on style, tempo or tone (within their chosen framework).

Also very present is the commanding personality of front-woman, founder and main composer Dawn Lintern. Das Flff is essentially her musical alter ego; and the ten tracks here are a journey through the inner-cinema of Lintern's restless mind. A mind it seems can flip between meditation and violence and the writing directly reflects these emotional poles. In a reversal of the order of the album title, it begins with violence (Rage) and ends in meditation (Moonsong).

Taking inspiration from the canon of serious alternative lead females down the years, and occasionally reminding us of them, it is Lintern that defines Das Flff. (Her sometimes snarling delivery reminding me of Chrissie Hynde.) Far from being afraid to show what angers her, moves her or thrills her, the band's willingness to not only run with Lintern's rollercoaster of emotions, but to embrace them as a key driving force is what makes both the songwriting (and their live performances). 

There's an edginess to everything Lintern does stemming from her willingness to lay bare and put to music thoughts that many others would keep locked up inside. However, some may read its honesty for simple darkness and find the unvarnished truth as she sees it overwhelming. If so, then Das Flff probably isn't for them. Those who prefer their music to be completely resolved and concluded might be unbalanced by the uninhibited rawness of expression here. 

The violence is exposed on Rage with its simmering lyrics: “Today is good. My mood is high. Life is sweet. I know, it won't last for long. Rage. Give me Rage...” before exploding during the chorus. (Even this has been topped by Shut The Fuck Up, the b-side of the new single 1 Cent Plus Postage). You Lied appears to be laying bare the seedy underbelly of the record industry. But for all the gloom, there's the celebratory love poem to Tokyo, Tokyo Daisuki, penned after the band first toured there in 2012; and, finally, the meditative end of the spectrum is captured in three-and-a-half stunningly beautiful minutes on the weep-inducing Moonsong. Songwriting this personal and frank is still too rare – making Meditation and Violence an album to treasure. 8/10  

Rob Dyer (June 2014)