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Genre: Pop/Rock
Country: Germany
Label: Arising Empire
Year: 2019

Now to admit to the bitter truth, my German is limited to saying “Nein nein nein nein!” like Bruno Ganz and singing Du Hast. Yet, here we are. Antiheld is a band from Stuttgart, Germany. Five members with an appetite for regional alternative rock, with a bit of a bad boy style and dubious intentions about the outreach of their music. Alternative radio-friendly rock is in many ways a saturated genre, with pioneers who have set the bar high and many bands struggling to stand out with a spot on Spotify’s playlists. In addition, the guys have made the bold decision to write lyrics only in German. I’m not saying it’s impossible to achive international fame as a band like that (we all know that’s not true), but it certainly raises a wall between you and the audience you are obligated to climb.

Nevertheless, their new LP titled “Goldener Schuss” (Golden Shot unless my thorough research betrays me) shows genuine passion for the genre. There are many bands that return to an innocent appreciation of their roots in the post-postmodern era. Antiheld write in the genre they love with the aim of rejuvenating it and suceed simply because they do so without stammering once. Case in point, this new album is catchy and focused on its purpose unapologetically. Most tracks on the album are not too far removed from tried-and-tested recipes for the genre with emotionally charged vocals, loud drums and melodic guitars.

Unfortunately, there are a few times when intense crowd pandering takes you away from the experience, as Antiheld insist on squeezing in as many “Who-o-o-oh” gang vocal parts per minute as possible. Musically, the songs don’t hide many surprises and stay mostly on the road most trodden, except for some tracks near the end, particularly ‘Gott’ with its church organ passages and their closer, ‘Sonnerikind’ a traditional piano ballad that elicits nostalgia for the 80s rather than a modern rock sound. Goldener Schuss, though immediate and unhindered in its purpose, is so successful on this one-way street, that its memorable elements are hardly memorable. Antiheld are a promising group but they desperately need a more adventurous followup to put them on the map.