Karl V. from LAFAYETTE, IN Reviewed on 12/10/2009...
The band has really started to develop. There is a larger focus on the songwriting
This was Nitzer Ebb's "Floodland"
Scott Sweet | Colorado Springs, CO | 05/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1990 was the year for these guys. The snarliest rhythms, the most danceable beats, and McCarthy's best vocals. They never reached this peak again, although "Kick It" on their next album is a classic. If Depeche Mode had eaten some protein, drunk beer and gotten into fights, they might have written a CD like "Showtime.""Getting Closer" sets the tone for the rest of the album. Hard, simple beat with sinister lyrics and a catchy synth line. The songs average out to about four minutes apiece. "Nobody Knows" has a slow, slinky swing beat. "One Man's Burden" has an odd, non-quantized appeal that pops up on a couple of other tracks. "All Over" is filler. Same story with "My Heart," though the 7/8-time beat is interesting. "Lightning Man" is one of the standouts (along with "Getting Closer" and "Fun To Be Had"). Jazzy melody, Casio beat, half-spoken vocals. Your hips will not remain still. "Rope" is more filler. "Hold On" has an intriguing, layer-by-layer buildup and the coolest beat on the album. "Fun To Be Had" is the longest track and deserves its length. The quietish intro leaves you open for a cool, simple beat and urgent vocals much like "Lightning Man" when the main song kicks in. The oboe melody is a nice counterpoint.If you're not sure if your club has played this album in the last decade, this might jog your memory: "Baby / come to daddy / Baby / come to daddy / Baby / come to daddy / Daddy's come to baby.""Showtime" doesn't have as dark or disturbing a collage of sounds as music that came out after NIN's big splash, so it might sound a little dated. On the other hand, it might be refreshing to get back to the more German appeal of industrial dance. "Showtime" was the high point for Nitzer Ebb as "Floodland" was for the Sisters of Mercy. If you have this one, you have the band at its best."
Ebb's Most Popular Effort
SandmanVI | Glen Allen, VA United States | 03/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the pinnacle for Nitzer Ebb coming at the end of the 80's. They had received underground hype from the past album and this would be their breakout with 3 singles that had reasonable success in the alternative scene... enough success that they were invited to tour with Depeche Mode in fact.The album leads off with the best & hardest song they ever wrote, the aggro "Getting Closer". It started with bleeps and noises growing into an all-out assault with a super fast tempo, shouted vox and hammering drum machine beats. It contained the anti-conformist chant, "I know what you buy... and I'm not selling!" The next single was the highly original "Lightning Man", maybe the most interesting song they ever did. LM was basically straight EBM at its heart but it left behind the shouting for mostly spoken vocals and it featured a bassoon melody (or maybe it's an oboe) than is very foreign in industrial or any rock music for that matter - very cool effect for sure. "Fun to Be Had" was the 3rd and final single fitting more into the basic EBM category. The funny thing is that there is a 12" that has multiple mixes of all 3 of these songs; rare to find something like this that contains all of the main songs from an album... good luck finding it.The downside of this recording is that some of the non-singles are filler material. However, the high points make it more than worth owning. Is it essential industrial music? It might be. Strongly recommend Cubanate for all Ebb fans."
Another great Nitzer Ebb CD
S. Benson | Planet Earth | 10/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first NE release that I felt they were stepping outside themselves and growing as a band and it showed with great songs like "Getting Closer", "Lightning Man" and "Fun to be Had".This CD may only have three big dance floor hits (listed above) but on a personal level I really enjoyed this release with other great songs like "Rope", "Nobody Knows" and "My Heart".As usual McCarthy does great on vocals, with his trademark NE sound. For those not familiar with Nitzer Ebb I think this CD might be the most accessible and if you like this one I would highly recommend you also check out "Belief" and "That Total Age".As a DJ this is another must have..."
Muscle and want
loteq | Regensburg | 04/25/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A transitional album from the downtempo torture of "Belief" to the electro-rock of "Ebbhead", "Showtime" builds on the relentless machine beats of NE's earlier work while the slick production rounds off NE's legendary hard edge. Although it starts with the much promising, aggressive "Getting closer" (one of my favorite NE tracks), this album is a bit tame and laid back. It's truly NE's most accessible and moderate album, but sometimes it becomes rather dull and sounds like Depeche Mode without melody. However, Douglas' best vocal performance ever enlivenes the fiercely minimalistic arrangements and makes the whole affair surprisingly listenable. Other interesting tracks apart from the great "Getting closer" are "My heart", "Lightning man" with its strange oboe refrain, and the single "Fun to be had". "Showtime" is a good introduction to NE's work for the unexperienced listener, but "Ebbhead" offers a greater variety of styles and "That total age" is more original and powerful."
My favorite Nitzer Ebb
Stacey Voigt | Santa Barbara, CA, USA | 03/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's just the nostalgia factor at play, but I love this album!!! There are so few weak tracks and the tracks all work together really well as a whole. I am of course still in love with "Lightning Man", a full fifteen years after seeing Nitzer Ebb do it live and being blown away by that particular song.
If you're a fan of older industrial music, this album must be part of your collection. It's the law."