Green Tree Records has been busy lately re-releasing many of the out of print albums from German band Birth Control, and Condomium is one of the bands many live albums, this one recorded in the early 90’s. Showing as much intensity as in their glory years, the line-up here features longtime members Bernd “Nossi” Noske on drums and vocals, and Horst Stachelhaus on bass. Joining them are guitarist Rocco Zodiac and keyboard player Xaver “Fischfinger” Fischer, and they both seem to fit right in.
Birth Control always had two sides to their music-the muscular heavy rock that was no doubt influenced by Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, and the progressive rock style that sounded like a cross between Yes and Genesis. The former is in full force throughout this live CD, which features popular songs from throughout the bands history. Classics like “Get Ready to Run”, “The Work is Done”, and ‘She’s Got Nothing on You” are performed with powerful energy, as the band seems invigorated by new members Zodiac and Fischer. In fact, their guitar and organ/synth playing is what drives this entire live recording. Zodiac’s thunderous riffs and lethal solos are dripping all over the Atomic Rooster influenced “Trial Trip”, one of the albums heavier cuts, while he even gets some extended solo time on the bands most famous song, the eighteen minute “Gamma Ray.” Noske is in fine vocal form, and if you can deal with the German accent, he is actually a very powerful singer, as evidenced on tracks like “No Shade is Real” and the odd cover of country singer Naomi Judd’s “That Was Yesterday”, done in true Birth Control fashion.
With many Birth Control live albums to choose from, this one ranks right up there with the two from the 70’s, this one having a much crunchier guitar sound. Those into groups with guitar and Hammond at the forefront will be in for a treat with this CD. Plus, the surprising yet obvious cover art will make you chuckle.