Genre/Influences: Pop-rock, wave-rock.
Background/Info: The album “Seltsame Zustände” brings us back to the early 80s. Thomas Elbern, Karl Hamacher and Silvio Franolic became known and recognized as members of Escape With Romeo, but this work brings us back to the roots, the early beginning of those artists active under the moniker Seltsame Zustände. The self-titled album was originally released in 1984 and now re-released for the first time on CD format while the songs have been remastered.
Content: The opening song reminds me a bit of The House Martins, but quite rapidly moves into a mix of pop, rock and new-wave music. The sound is totally 80s-like while all vocals (except on “Le Feu”) have been sung in German.
+ + + : This work is a kind of documentary for all die-hard fans of Thomas Elbern. The CD has been featured in a sober, but alluring digipak. This is an opportunity to get a bit more familiar with the early work of those musicians while the songs also reflect the typical 80s sound. I noticed some cool guitar playing and a few great synth parts.
– – – : You really have to be a fan of Thomas Elbern or a 80s collector because this album is fun for a while, but rapidly annoying. Escape With Romeo became a great band because they’ve a real cool sound, but Seltsame Zustände had not.
Conclusion: I can’t say this album is a must have. It’s a nice gift to Thomas Elbern, but nothing more.
Best songs: “Paranoid”, “Le Feu”.