XOX-ROCK, Angst, 1982Posted: April 23, 2009
Because I really like this record I`ll make an exception this week and post a LP. I didn`t know what it was until I took it home and saw that the sleeve was signed by M. Strahl. When I checked the insert it listed Michael Strahl as the guitarist of XOX-Rock.
Immediately I realized that it was the same Michael Strahl that was also a well-known Berlin Underground-Cartoonist in the 80`s. His comic-strip Paul, die Ratte (Paul, The Rat) appeared in the independent bi-weekly entertainment guide Zitty for many years. Whenever I was visiting Berlin as a teenager I read his strips and liked them very much. I have one book of his collected strips from 1983. The strip centered around the adventures of Paul, The Rat and his rock group the Kotz Combo (The Vomit Combo). No other Berlin strip captured the spirit of the Berlin rock scene in the 80`s so vividly.
Much like other first generation Underground Cartoonists from Berlin like Tomas M. Bunk, Harald Juch, Peter Petri, Hansi Kiefersauer, Fuchsi, Rolf Boyke, Detlef Surrey and others, Michael Strahl was published and also appeared in book collections at the time. A crucial time for German Underground comics a lot of their stories centered around drugs, Rock`n`Roll and Politics: one of the leading themes being the squatter movement that was happening at the time. A record with a Detlef Surrey comic sleeve design in support of detained squatters was actually the first one I posted here. Sadly none of their collected work has been re-issued and is not available in comic book stores any more.
Record collectors, specialists and Rock`n`Roll fanatics have a certain way of defining what is cool and collectible. Until some people make a creative decision to re-define that and start a new trend. A lot of the locally released Punk records for example were not included in the canon of Punk Rock until the Killed by Death re-issue compilations came out in the mid-90`s.
A lot of rock groups of the early 80`s still had a big foot in the 70`s. They were not New Wave, not Punk and not Hard Rock. They were everything together. They were not pure. That automatically excluded them from becoming cult groups. In the past I have posted some such records by local Berlin groups like Naasti, Prädikat Wertvoll, Extra, Sportpalast, Schlaflose Nächte and Rinnsteinsynphoniker.
XOX-Rock fell right into that trap. In their case undeservedly so. Their self-released split-Lp with fellow Berliners Q-Rios never went anywhere and hasn`t been re-released for close to 30 years. I really really like the XOX-Rock stuff . I`ve been listening to the song Angst in particular a lot lately. Great rockin`stuff with angry female vocals by Kirsten Fiscian. Somewhere between Black Sabbath and Nina Hagen…