Emerging from the heart of Germany’s underground music scene, SEX BEAT’s debut album “Call Me” is a sonic tour de force, released under This Charming Man Records. Coming up as a wild manifesto, this offering is a raw and unapologetic declaration of the band’s identity and their undying love for punk.
“Call Me” is described by the band as a “neat little debut album,” with no gimmicks or distractions. It’s a straightforward punk sound that’s been a part of their lives for over two decades. With driving drums, distorted bass lines, and the kind of noisy guitars that send chills down your spine, SEX BEAT captures the essence of what made punk revolutionary. It’s an unbridled fury, showcasing original songwriting, sharp cynicism, and the kind of energetic live show that leaves audiences begging for more.
The album’s narrative touches on contemporary issues, personal experiences, and a fair share of nostalgic callbacks.
From statements about global conflicts, such as the Ukraine escalation, to intimate tales of infatuation and the quirks of modern life, “Call Me” is as much a social commentary as it is a musical journey. Florian’s vocals snarl with both energy and emotion, addressing topics that range from the everyday to the profound. The band weaves in influences from the likes of Parquett Courts and Uranium Club, all while adding their unique touch, resulting in an album that feels both familiar and refreshingly new.
What’s particularly captivating about “Call Me” is the way SEX BEAT manages to blend the rawness of punk with intricate songwriting and thematic depth. It’s an album that can be blasted in a car on a late-night drive, dissected in thoughtful listening sessions, or moshed to in a packed, sweaty venue.
Today, we unpack each and every song from the album, through a special track by track commentary below.
Also known as “Andrii, Andriy, Maksym, Margaryta, Oleh, Olga, Vasyl” is a short, angry statement about the recent escalation of the Ukraine conflict. Florian works in his day job with software developers from Ukraine and has witnessed the build-up, shock and adaptation to war on a daily basis. The lyrics simultaneously serve as an attack on political elites and a declaration of love to his colleagues.
Ups & Downs in a Liftboy’s Life
Ups and Downs was originally a short story by Florian about a bipolar liftboy who seeks and finds sex and drugs in guests’ rooms at his workplace. The intro is at least one run-through too long, but kicks quite well, which is why we put quite a bit of brainpower into it to get back into the part at the end.
Tillie is actually the ex-girlfriend of our old drummer. She had to serve as an example for this overwhelming feeling when you have a bad crush on someone and you want to get into each other’s pants. Jonas’ riff in the chorus is probably the strongest moment on the album.
Don’t let the elevator bring you down
In the beginning, there was only the guitar from the verse. The song was written in 15 minutes. The lyrics were freestyled and also not changed after. No idea from what depths of Florian’s mind the idea was born to quote Christina Aguilera.
What would Hüsker do?
Unlike Elevator, the song took forever to finish and was changed over and over for half a dozen rehearsals. Originally, the song was called “40 years of war” and discussed the history of Afghanistan. That in the end it’s about growing up as a 16-year-old punk looking for life’s answers in 30-year-old records is beyond comprehension.
One of the first songs we wrote. The idea with the accelerando in the intro is not completely new, but still a cool effect. Live it’s always one of the best numbers. Lyrically pretty rough, Florian hadn’t written any English lyrics for 18 years. Obviously it’s about cocaine though.
Punks of Portland
The songwriting is a little off here. This is another song that kept changing in the rehearsal room. Rosa completely rethought the bass in the chorus in the studio. This gives a groovy emo touch. The lyrics are totally confused. Bible passages and Zero Boys references. Somehow it’s about mods and punks and skaters and actually about the fact that there are resistances in resistance and that you shouldn’t bury your head in the sand so quickly.
Sort It Out
The first song we wrote as a band, after many of us used our instruments as dusty room decorations at best. Jonas wanted to show off with the guitar intro. We really wanted to do without classic song structures for the first songs and just let it flow. Because we didn’t have the courage for monotony yet, one idea follows the other and the thing bangs forward.
The first song where we trusted ourselves to sound repetitive and abandon choruses. The bassline and off-beat guitar work surprisingly well. And the dynamics come mainly from the tempo. It’s probably the song where we realized in the rehearsal room that the band could become something cool. The lyrics are also okay. About falling in love and stuff. A bit too private and overshared but what the hell.
Dennis was written shortly after Secrets and we definitely felt more comfortable with repeating stuff over and over again. Some say it sounds “indie”… no idea where that is coming from. It’s pretty straight-forward punk to us. The build-up to the second half is neat and the idea was that in the end, it comes to a simple a-b-a-b-structure in the outro. The idea for the lyrics actually came from Netflixing The Last Dance. Rodman is to be called at least controversial today but back in the 90’s the Bulls were pop culture in Germany and Rodman definitely the most thrilling character as he was shaking the image of professionality and masculinity throughout his career.