Callejon return with another offering, very quickly after their eighth studio album, Fandigo released in 2017. Founded in 2002, Callejon gained prominence with their third release Videodrom in 2010, inspired by the bonkers David Cronenburg film and have been commercially very successful in their native Germany.
The Dusseldorf five piece love a cover song by all accounts, this is their second album of covers following Man Spricht Deutsch (2013) which exclusively covered German artists. This release Hartgeld im Club (Hard money in the club), is no exception with its innovative re-imaginations of tracks and its wonderfully provocative album cover. The cover features a male ‘metal’ fan with long hair and leathers and a male ‘rap’ fan (corn rows, US sports jersey, gold jewellery) in a passionate embrace! Thus introducing the rap/ metal hybrid within. Callejon are not the first to hybridise metal and rap but as far as I am aware they are the first to take German language rap songs and repackage them in a metalcore style with added antagonism. The album also includes two brand-new Callejon songs – the title track Hartgeld im Club and Porn From Spain 3.
At first this is a high octane, party metal core album. I fear that some of the wit and cleverness may be lost on an audience unfamiliar with the original material or an audience unlikely to broaden their musical horizons into a different genre. Whether you speak German or not, there is a lot to enjoy here. Callejon are obviously fans and seem to be offering a mind expanding opportunity. I’m sure that fans of Callejon are ready to expect the unexpected,
Von Party zu Party (From party to party) by female rap duo SXTN has been Callejons 1st release from the album. Opening with vague, distant party sounds a bombastic rap assault with heavy riffing guitars drive us further into the latest Callejon wormhole. This crosses genres, introduces industrial and aggressive trance elements and for me it’s a great track to get a party started. Schlechtes Vorbild (Bad role model) of long established artist Sido opens with an almost Offspring vibe and the drumming is sublime
Kids (2 Finger an den Kopf) (Kids (2 fingers to the head)) by Marteria is a heavy, rhythmical groove monster with some great clean vocals as well as the traditional screams.
Palmen aus Plastik (Palm trees made of plastic) the 2016 hip hop hit by Bonez MC & RAF Camora , despite its autotuned beginnings becomes a feelgood metal track that should be enjoyed by all. Was Du Liebe nennst (What you call love) is the 2nd album release and was initially releases by newcomer Bausa. It’s fast and unrelenting and if the music doesn’t make you smile, the video certainly should! The music video parodies the typical rap video in a way that is funny without being insulting and you can check it out here.
Willst du (Do you want) has the ‘poppiest’ of starts, which is a fantastic contrast with the rest of the track. Its playful, high energy and a more than decent track in its own right.
Arbeit nervt (Work is annoying) by Deichkind returns us to a nicely heavy, industrial themed relentless anthem of desperation. Urlaub fürs Gehirn (Holidays for the brain) by occasional collaborators KIZ opens with a hint of power metal before finding more familiar nu metal territory. So perfekt (So Perfect) by Emo-rap American/German Casper becomes an uplifting metal masterpiece. Bros from RIN opens with synths and autotuned vocals, which initially seemed too derivative of early ‘noughties’ rap but the true talent and vision emerges with further listens. Ich rolle mit meim Besten (I roll with my best) becomes a thrash track with added nu metal twists and a great guitar bridge.
Hartgeld im Club (Hard money in the club) featuring Antifuchs and Mushroom has a strong Senser feel and is quite probably my favourite track with a rousing chorus and additional vocals.
Porn From Spain 3 is a separate and distinct entity from the 2008 Porn From Spain or Porn From Spain 2 (released in 2012) all of which feature Nico, of Berlin alternative hip-hop outfit KIZ. But this new release also features rap superstar performer/ producer and Body Count frontman Ice-T! Of course there are sirens too! There is an arcade game influenced lyric video and it’s pretty damn good!
All in all, this album is a blast and unexpectedly shameless fun although my favourite tracks on this release are Callejons own work rather than the covers.
Powerfully upbeat it reminds me of the first time I heard Bring the Noise (if you aren’t pretending to scratch vinyl, immediately listen to Anthrax featuring Public Enemy). Over 30 years old and still brilliant, I hope the same can be said of Callejon in a few decades.
Hartgeld im Club Tracklisting
- Von Party zu Party
- Schlechtes Vorbild
- Kids (2 Finger an den Kopf)
- Palmen aus Plastik
- Was Du Liebe nennst
- Willst du
- Arbeit nervt
- Urlaub fürs Gehirn
- So perfekt
- Ich rolle mit meim Besten
- Hartgeld im Club
- Porn From Spain 3
Hartgeld im Club will be released January 4th, 2019 and is available to purchase from here
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