Grabbel and the Final Cut – MMXVI (Revisited)

coverAt the start of the year I was excited at the brand new album by Grabbel and the Final Cut.  I announced the release back in January, which was a bold move by the band committing to a new single every month.  Now in late December we are 11 songs into the album, only through misfortune they missed a month.

Back at the beginning of the year, I drew comparisons to this and when  in 1992 The Wedding Present decided to release a limited edition single every month.  The singles later became the album Hit Parade.  Like The Wedding Present, Grabbel and the Final Cut are a singles band and each single stands on its own, but this in turn creates a classic album.  It is  vastly different to the music that they made two decades ago (eventhough I suspect some of the song were conceived 20 years ago).

In the track Dark Side Stefan’s vocal soliloquy sounds style sounds very similar to Guy Chadwick in Spy in the House of Love era.  Passions Just Like Mine starts off with some dialogue from the 2008 film RocknRolla, and rolls into a song about a lovestruck car journey, it’s a real grower.  The next song In Between Years has an almost angular guitar riff at the start, this is the most post-punk sounding Grabbel and the Final Cut song.  The spiky guitar is lost in the latter part of the as the guitars become more fluid, but there is a great guitar solo towards the end.  My favourite is The Pioneer, a really catchy fast rhythm section, with slower thoughtful lyrics. But there is still one more song to be released to complete the album, and this could possibly take the top spot.

Grabbel and the Final Cut – The Pioneer

a0697709131_16It is great to see the second single from the MMXVI album by Grabbel and the Final Cut, after suffering a set back in late January.  It is a different direction to their back catalogue.  The vocals are softer, but the whole song is propelled by the rhythm section.  In particular, Grabbel or drummer Christian Grabowski, is showcased in this single.  He appears on the artwork of the single.  I would compare him to Stephen Morris, or the mighty Colm O’Ciosoig who I have had the pleasure of seeing live.

Grabbel and The Final Cut – MMXVI

cover2016 looks like being a classic year for Grabbel and The Final Cut.  They are releasing an album of entirely new material, songs that have been written since the bands reunion and some that have yet to be created.  They describe it as an album in progress, so on the 1st of each month an extra track will be added.  By December this year the album will be completed. For those old enough to remember The Wedding Present did some similar with Hit Parade, they released a single every month for the whole of 1992.  I am pleased that they are releasing new material and not just Fleetwood Mac’n,  other recent reunions should take notice.

January’s track is Never Always Mine (But I’ll Be Fine) which is in their current live set, and I am pretty sure that they played it at their only UK date in Glasgow.  This track captures the energy of the live performances.

Grabbel and the Final Cut – Electric

a3836965431_16I am temporarily interrupting the Sarah tour of Bristol to enlighten everyone to the latest release by Grabbel and the Final Cut.  It is great they are back in the studio putting out their music.  There previous releases include a live set and an original master tape from 1991.  Electric is a song from the 90’s but rerecorded, and I am enthralled by the big sound that they make; every member of the band contributes to creating a hedonistic wall of sound.


In the New Year, Grabbel and the Final Cut are going to be releasing a single on the 1st of each month and at the end of the year this will be an album of 12 songs.  For those who remember this is very like The Wedding Present’s Hit Parade, a new single every month. Excitingly this is going to be brand new material.

Grabbel and the Final Cut Live

02_Grabbel-Glasgow_27-Sep-2013I was fortunate enough to see Grabbel and the Final Cut at their first gig outside Germany; they appeared in Glasgow supporting the Close Lobsters. I received an email from the band; they said I was on the guest list for their UK performance. This was the first time ever that a band had invited me to a gig, and this is the first time ever I was on the guest list. I accepted their offer and embarked on the 450 mile journey from Exeter to Glasgow.

After an 8 hour train journey, I arrived in Glasgow. I checked in at the hotel and then made my way to Stereo, which was the venue. I went to the basement of Stereo where they were playing and I met the band. They asked me to introduce them, so I took to the stage.

‘Good Evening, you’re in for a treat tonight. Appearing for the first time out of their native Germany. I give you …Grabbel and the Final Cut.’

I half expected tumbleweed to start moving across the stage, but my introduction received applause and the band kicked in. There was a sizeable crowd present as the night was a triple bill and the other acts were The Wiseacres and the Close Lobsters. In the crowd were 5 hardcore fans that had followed the band from Germany, they were instantly recognisable from their Grabbel and the Final Cut t-shirts.

The band comprised of; Stefan Zachau (guitar, voice), Gernot Dornblüth (bass, voice), Sascha Kotzur (guitar) and Christian Grabowski (drums). They started their blazing set. There were many highlights of the set this included Oppa Yo! Which I think is a fantastic live song; it is set alright by powerful chords and Christian’s rapid drumming style, which sounds similar to Stephen Morris when he was in Joy Division. Feedback Party is another live favourite; it really got the audience going. The track bounces along at breakneck speed.

I have a huge soft spot for Psycho Popsong; this track is consistently part of their live set. It was great to see it performed live, it was the first song I heard by the band and it instantly set them head and shoulders above all the demos that I was being sent. Before I heard this, I never had reviewed or written about a ‘new’ release.

A new song made an appearance, In My Room. It starts off slow but towards the end, the song breaks. The band stops playing and only Sascha is left playing an extremely heavy riff. This was great to watch.

After the end of the set their long-term fans were happy and there were numerous converted souls. All who are looking forward to a new album (if In My Room is anything to go by) and another European (if not world) tour?

Photos by Christian Vermehren