Bommeleeër Gewerkschaft - Staffel 1

16 songs
54:29 minutes


There used to be a punk rock cover band from Luxembourg called Sixpax, and while they copied the modus operandi of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes more or less one-to-one, it was still fun to know that such a band was around close enough if you felt in the mood of catching one of their shows. Apparently Sixpax still play and will soon start their comeback with a new singer. In the meantime, the same musicians have now founded their new band Bommeleeër Gewerkschaft which no longer plays cover versions, and also comes exclusively with Luxembourgish lyrics.

Staffel 1 is not a regular album, at least not yet, but will be released two songs every week, which can then be downloaded for free of, if you feel like it, a small fee at one of the band’s music pages. The concept is meant to work like a TV show, in this case like a first season, and that part is truly original and deserves applause. Unfortunately for every good idea, there are a couple of them that I can’t really condone. First of all calling their genre Lëtz Rock should be a hint at bands like Moof and Cool Feet, and while Bommeleeër Gewerkschaft are from a musical vantage point one of the better bands with Luxembourgish lyrics, this talent mostly shows on their more punk rocking material. Too much of the songs, or should I say: episodes?, are kind of ballads that are not that interesting, if not really bad, from a musical point of view, and also show that Gilbert is a really great punk rock singer: powerful and melodic, but not so gifted during the softer material where he sounds awfully close like a Schlagersänger.

Another drawback are the lyrics. First of all the band tried very hard that everything must rhyme, resulting in some quite awkward texts, secondly the content is of a very personal nature, but in a cringeworthy kind of way that gives the impression that the world is always unfair to the band or vocalist (I don’t know who wrote the lyrics). This kind of victimising positions recall - and now I have to get ready for an upcoming shitstorm - bands like Böhse Onkelz and Frei.Wild. The band’s more political material also comes from a very questionable side. Elo ass d’Bettel fett is the band’s best songs when it comes to songwriting and arrangement, but the lyrics? So daycare children get no family values? Even worse how the Conservative party is put into the victim’s role, how the mean Liberals, Socialists and Ecologists bully them into undeserved submission. This is the first time I have thought of the expression CSV punk. I also don’t know what to think of Wann de Villchen singt. Some people may consider Gaston Vogel as the one, last remaining voice of truth, but others see in him only a rabble-rouser who should finally retire.

The band can be funny occasionally, like on the Bommeleeër Gewerkschaft track that comes with a certain rockabilly influence. Well ech esou ausgesinn is another track with rather private lyrics but has an appealing ska beat.

When all is said and done, we are left with a product that made me feel very uncomfortable. The music is really good whenever the band turns to their punk roots, and that’s also when Gilbert is a strong vocalist. But there is happening too much that doesn’t work for me, so that I can’t really give a good rating. When it comes to funny Luxembourgish lyrics, Toxkäpp! and Tëschegas are much funnier, even if their music is never as sparkling as Bommeleeër Gewerkschaft on a good day. Too bad that there seems to be so much more shadow.

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