Two years have gone
by since the MERRICKS released their so far most successful album THE
SOUND OF MUNICH. Their skillful fusion of a classic popsong approach
with Munich disco-reflections brought them new friends and opened up
new possibilities for them: They got the chance to interview the legendary
Amanda Lear for a leading German music magazine and finally got the
long deserved record deal in Japan. Maybe the best representation of
the development the MERRICKS have gone through between THE SOUND OF
MUNICH and ESCAPE FROM PLANET MUNICH is the ingenious cover artwork
by former ‘Der Plan’ member Moritz R.: while the cover of their last
album was dominated by the futuristic 70ies architecture of Munichs
“Schwabylon”, the silhouette of Munichs Olympiazentrum has vanished
way into the background. The cover shows a mysterious (MERRICKS-) world
seemingly protected by three Tiki figures. The listener can picture
him/herself as being the driver of the strange unrealistic red limousine.
Attracted by this weird scenery he wants to communicate with this promising
world. ESCAPE FROM PLANET MUNICH combines the strange elements of their
early works (horn sections!) with the clear pop-orientation of THE SOUND
OF MUNICH. The intro reminiscent of „Schwabing Girls" is followed by
an almost programmatic cover version of FSK’s „Move Ahead": „Move Ahead.
And your ass will follow." „Let’s get stupid" tries to construct a stupidity
which is not stupid; a paradox only at first sight (if you want, one
of the central topics of this record). Musically a real piece of MERRICKS-pop.
The threatening sound of a ringing telephone in „Nenn es nicht Liebe"
(“Don’t call it love”) reveals the dark-psychedelic side in the MERRICKS.
In „Ne Travaillez Jamais" the French popstar Ariel Wizman quotes a situationist
slogan, appealing to the youth to stop working. „Slackers Paradise"
basically adds up to a similar message only that this one is an instrumental.
The rather stoical song „Rock Espacial", sung in Spanish, shows the
MERRICKS belief in contemporary popmusic, that goes beyond retro-categories.
The last song „Grauesel Nr.17" (“Grey Mule nr.17”) is a lament on the
near extinction of the andalusian mule, which is fused with longing
„Und ich wollt du wärst hier" (“I wish you were here”) sighs, whispered
through a vocoder, finally mutating into a kind of folk lovesong. What
a touching end to a record that would deserve its place in history as
a manifest of a „New Strangeness". And to all of you who still feel
like this driver of the red limousine on the frontcover of the album
after listening to it several times: even if the conversation at the
wall will possibly never give him any final insights into the strange
world beyond; he probably won’t be able to do anything else but return
to this place again and again....