In 2006, the German electro band Pzychobitch released what was to be their final album, Electrolicious, and then inconceivably vanished without much of a trace. Led by the pink-haired Sina Hübner, Pzychobitch had bombarded the dance floor with sexually charged lyrics, seductive vocals, and pounding electro beats. In the years since, there has been an absence of alt-hair-colored leading ladies to claim the empty throne of this niche of electronica. But from the Austrian underground, a purple-haired vixen is now beginning to make her presence known.
This self-titled debut of Massenhysterie was released in May 2015 via Bandcamp. The project is headed by Jo Massenhysterie, who has steadily been building her fanbase in the clubs of Vienna, performing a blend of dominatrix-electro, neo-Neue Deutsche Welle music. All five tracks on the EP are extremely club friendly, providing a healthy dosage of oontz-oontz-oontzs and repetitive but memorable choruses. Massenhysterie’s vocals juggle seductive, militant, domineering, and harsh attributes with a hint of the theatrical, owing to her usage of the alveolar trill, especially prominent in “Hart ist der Stiefel.”
The song “Massenhysterie” was released as a standalone song on Bandcamp many months before this debut and has its own music video, thus it acts as a single of sorts. However, the best tracks on the EP are easily “Weiber Regieren die Welt” and “Hart ist der Stiefel.” “Weiber Regieren die Welt,” a song about the domineering aspect of women and making men subservient and obedient to them, strays into bit-pop territory, giving the song an old-school video game soundtrack quality that fans of Welle Erdball would find attractive. On the other side of the spectrum, “Hart ist der Stiefel” is all about putting on one’s finest black leather and boots to dominate the dance floor. The marching chorus of “Links, zwei, drei, vier!” channel the club-stomping sentiments of Rammstein’s “Links 2-3-4” and Laibach’s “Tanz Mit Laibach.”
Massenhysterie is available in both CD and digital formats. The album cover depicts Jo Massenhysterie saluting the listener while behind her and her stylized logo is a subtly pictured a mob of people, no doubt the “hysterical masses.” As there are only five tracks, the price is reasonable, but no doubt thirsty listeners will be longing for more than what the EP has to offer in terms of quantity.
Pzychobitch may have laid the foundations of the sounds and lyrics that Massenhysterie channels, but that project is long gone. The void needs to be filled, and if the songs of this debut are any indication of things to come, then Massenhysterie is a true and worthy successor.
01) 1000 Rote Rosen
02) Weiber Regieren die Welt
03) Jesus Christus
04) Hart ist der Stiefel