Sick Sick Sick

The following is the entirety of the AllMusic / Rovi text regarding the German post-punk band Malaria! (at least as it’s represented on everyone’s favorite fraction-penny purveyor Spotify):

“Malaria! was a group of five German women, together from 1981-1983.”

Descriptive! My original intent was to quote that in a sassier fashion, saying something along the lines of, “Thank god for Trouser Press.” Then I went and saw what Trouser Press had to say about Malaria! Unfortunately, it isn’t isn’t the sort of text that ends up being used for PR pullquotes. (There’s no good way to spin “tedious” or “uninvolving.”)

Anyway, as I mentioned previously, this is post-punk that was actually hot on the heels of original recipe punk, meaning it sounds an awful lot like that band & the other band that you think of when you think of post-punk. Except, since these ladies are from Germany, there’s a certain Teutonic lilt, language notwithstanding, in the way they issue their polemics. Maybe it’s the harsh consonance that causes Spotify’s Related Artists algorithm to offer up RIYLs like Boyd Rice and Throbbing Gristle, but these ladies aren’t quite that abrasive. Hell, a track like “You You” is almost ready-for-flashback-weekend new wave, though its sour aftertaste  might pucker your lips some. (The sax and sample attack on the track that follows it, on the other hand, is decidedly less user-friendly.)

If you’re looking for the purest post-punk thrills, then you want “Thrill Me” or “Your Turn To Run (I’ll Be Your Only One).” (Thanks to Alternative Press EIC Jason Pettigrew for the heads-up on the former.) If you’re in the Advanced Studies program when it comes to the angular banging and strumming, though, this entire compilation is worth a listen. It’s doubtful these ladies will get the red carpet reissue treatment that peers like The Au Pairs and LiLiPut and Delta 5 did — their catch-all approach doesn’t quite catch all that often — but sometimes going down the road less remastered and repackaged offers its own rewards.

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