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Stereo Six: Berlin Power-Pop Trio Pabst Pick Out the Six Albums Inspiring their Colourful Sounds

In the latest edition of Stereo Six, Berlin power-pop trio, Pabst, talk us through some of the albums that have inspired their colourful, crazy sound. Read their choices here.



After releasing their critically acclaimed debut album Chlorine, playing too many gigs to count, making numerous raucous festival appearances AND supporting the likes of Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü) and Kadavar on tour, German power-pop trio Pabst are back with fuzz-indie-punk-cocktail single “Ibuprofen”, a taster for their upcoming album due later this year.

Fast, wild, and colourful, Pabst write the kind of songs that will rattle around your hungover head for months so we decided to dig deeper and find out which albums have helped inspire their sound.

1. Daniel Johnston – Retired Boxer (Stress Records, 1984)

Tilman: “I’d consider Daniel Johnston as the most influential artist in my life. Especially all the cassette albums he recorded in the 80s – they feel so very pure. I wrote my bachelor thesis on the first song on Retired Boxer, which is “I’ll Do Anything but Break Dance for Ya, Darling”. And, of course, “True Love Will Find You in the End” is probably one of the best recordings and songs ever made.”

2. Dirty Beaches – Badlands (Zoo Music, 2011)

Tilman: “This album made me recognize that what you play is sometimes less important than how you play it and how it sounds. That’s why it probably made me stop wanting to get better at playing my instrument. If you know the basics and play whatever comes through your head and bones, it can be a lot better and more unique than playing what somebody taught you is right.

3. Depeche Mode – Black Celebration (Mute Records, 1984)

Erik: “It took me a while to appreciate Depeche Mode, but when it hit, it hit full on. This album, or actually, this whole late-eighties incarnation of the band for me is the peak of interesting pop-songwriting and arrangements. To some it all sounds a little dated by now, but it hasn’t gotten any worse for me. It’s a little dark, a little experimental, a little campy, very catchy, and a huge influence on me as a songwriter.”

4. Test Icicles – For Screening Purposes Only (Domino, 2005)

Erik: “This album, when it came out, was like my dream-album come true. It had everything I was looking for in music at the time: Electronics, Pop-hooks, Post-punk and post-hardcore borrowings, noisy, screechy bits, Trash Metal, The-Strokes-esque Garage-rock, and on, and on. Every song on this album sounds different, probably thanks to the three different writers on it. It was widely regarded as this silly, bullshitty thing, but I’ve always thought that it was pretty well made and genuinely good. It also marked the beginning of a long period where every time I discovered new music, I would assess it based on this album. I think it can be said that this is the album that out of them all, had nailed my musical cravings best and probably had the biggest influence on me as a consumer of music.”

5. The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium (Gold Standard Laboratories, 2003)

Tore: “This album, and also seeing them live back in 2003, was a turning point in how I perceived music. I had never heard anything like it before. Before, I was listening to mostly skate-punk bands and I was starting to get bored of it. This came at the right point. After that I knew that there was more to find and what huge part music would play in my life. Suddenly I was interested in salsa and Jazz. Now after 17 years I am still impressed with how much energy this album has and triggers in me.”

6. Michael Jackson – Off the Wall (Epic Records, 1979)

Tore: “I remember hearing the chorus of “Rock with You” on the TV with this cheesy synth, but I didn’t think of Michael Jackson for some reason as I only knew his pop singles from Thriller and so on. This was during a time when everybody in my class was going to techno-parties. For some reason it never felt right for me dancing to these tunes, kind of artificial and stiff. After I heard that song I knew why. I needed groove. The other songs are great as well, except for the ballad.”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.