After the hooblahoo of the oak-soaked “Vergangenheit,” NOPLACETOHIDE bowed out with this album. The listening is much like watching a drunk pissing in the pan, some of the time his aim is spot on, some of the time he contributes to a growing puddle on the floor and some of the time he just splashes his boots, ah well, at least they'll shine up nicely.
There are tracks here that excite, the band drawing from all points to provide us with delectables like the Noise of “Rocket Science” to the New Wave leanings of “Future II” which evokes a mash of KILLING JOKE and PIL. Other tracks don't engage to the same degree, though there are no flatliners here. There are no pigeon shaped holes to stuff NOPLACETOHIDE into on “Zukunft,” they have lost much of the exuberance of their debut, presenting a more martial soundscape and austere perspective. There are industrial leanings and a detachment so that even the solo on “Coin” insists that you regard it as workings of the machine rather than fretboard exuberance.
This album sees the band stripping down their engine to the bare minimum required for effective motoring, out goes the turbo, the electrics, engine management system and anything else surplus to requirements. This direct approach means that they just point the vehicle, accelerate to cruising speed and occasionally floor it, there's no shiny chrome, no trick paint job and definitely no furry dice. The impression sometimes is that of motorway driving and that acquaints to a lack of features however, NOPLACETOHIDE don't leave it too long before they inject some relief, albeit minimal.
There will be no laughing in this house, “Zukunft” being a humourless affair. You get the impression of functionality without embellishment, Ikea Metal anyone? The hint of experimentation on the first album is replaced by a sense of research and development, a subtle difference but noticeable nonetheless. This is an album for certain moods and is persistent more than insistent, the door is open for you but its up to you whether you walk in. Discordance has a stronger hand this time and the delivery is more of a staccato. It all adds up to an altogether more remote experience.
NOPLACETOHIDE have moved on, their work won praise, especially near to home. There are some “Fuck yeah!” tracks and moments on “Zukunft” but not enough for me to shout from the roof tops as others have. Conversely I wouldn't slate the album to the degree expressed in some quarters. I'm happy to say that this work has its place, it fits hand in glove with certain emotional states and everyone has their fuck the world days. (Online May 22, 2006)