RANDALE - Punkpanda Peter

Randale - Punkpanda Peter

13 songs
43:10 minutes
***** **


Once again it’s time for a something new from the four pedagogical rockers Randale from Bielefeld who act less wild as their name might make you expect. The band is exceedingly busy and has released since its inception in 2004 already eight longplayers and four EPs. Compared to their fifth album Hasentotenkopfpiraten which I reviewed two years ago, not that much has changed. The band doesn’t limit itself to one specific musical direction, but rather presents different styles whose aim is to bring a message to pre-teen children.

The opener Punkpanda Peter is probably the best track I have heard so far from Randale. They try their hand at melodic punk and come up with something reminding of the legendary Schlie▀muskel (whose lyrics were never kiddie friendly though). Jochen Vahlke’s voice even reminds of Schlaffke Wolff who is now active in Zwakkelmann. Unfortunately no other song can achieve this greatness. Kleine dicke Hunde combines samba with German Schlager music in a certain Roberto Blanco way. I prefer Wackelzahn which shows parallels to Steve Miller’s The Joker. Laternelied has a certain country appeal. Marmelade is flirting with reggae. The band shows wit on Besserwisser with its talent for puns, although I wonder if their young audience will get the jokes. Weiter Walter Stop! shows that Randale are no strangers to ska. Despite their wide array of styles, I can’t get rid of the impression that Randale are releasing their music too fast without giving their songs a change to mature (Kekse, Schornsteinfeger). I also lament the fact that this time there are just too many quiet tracks on the album. The lyrics are of course relevant and should be part of every values class, as they are dealing with topics like friendship, consideration and sharing. Randale also act as agents of knowledge, for instance when they introduce the chimney sweep profession or when they tell interesting and valuable information about everyday issues like nutrition, milk teeth and lice in a kid friendly way.

My daughter will soon be four years old and still too young for Randale. Right now she’s more into Rolf Zuckowski and his friends. But then Randale are aiming their music and messages rather at elementary school children. There are always a couple of interesting songs on any of their albums, and maybe teachers will be able to use some of their material for their lessons.

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