Girls Under Glass: "Nightmares" Reviews

Girls Under Glass's new album from Van Richter Records is a compilation of their previous work (9 Albums), but now availiable to a North American audience, with a few extra bonus tracks, including three covers, the movie theme for Halloween, Simple Mind's "New Gold Dream", and DAF's "Der Mussolini". A combination of Industrial and Gothic Rock, Girls Under Glass offer a slightly different twist and the result is quite good. I'm not a fan of Goth Rock (like Sisters of Mercy, etc.), but with the addition of a more Industrial feel, my problems are eased. This album contains a few covers, besides the ones mentioned above, there is also a cover of Gary Numan's Down In The Park. There are also remixes by Die Krupps, and a remix by Sascha Konietzko and En Esch of KMFDM. My only problem is with their more ballad like songs ("Reach for the stars" (track 13) for example, whose inspirational message also bugs me a bit), but maybe this is just my problem. I realized recently that I don't think I like ballads. With 17 Tracks in total, this CD will give you a good overview of what GUG is all about. - Squid McCreadie, Tentacles E-zine

A band who have been around with for 12 years apparently & who I've heard of previously, have finally brought another album out, some 2 years after their last, this one being a collection of both new, rare & remixed songs which are quite outstanding. Standing fairly firmly in the electro-industrial genre. There's some very slick work here, from the opening track "Halloween", which is a brand new song which opens the album up, through to the closer "Hidden Track", which comes from way back in 1993, the earliest inclusions here coming from 1998. Picks here though are the faithful cover version of a classic Gary Numan song called "Down In The Park", which has also been covered by bands such as Foo Fighters, plus my favourites "Die Zeit" & a brilliant cover version of a Simple Minds classic "New Gold Dream", which changes the face of the original version dramatically. Any fan of industrial, gothic or electronic bands along the lines of Nine Inch Nails or Depeche Mode would do themselves a huge favour by checking this album out. - Terry Allen, hEARd Magazine
OK, you're a German band, strike one, you've been playing Goth-tinged EBM for over ten years without getting much attention, strike two. So what are you going to do before striking out? "Nightmares" seems like an almost perfect game plan. It's on an US-based label, which gives them distribution Stateside; it's an anthology of their career, which gives them instant seniority in any new scene. But, smartest of all is the way the CD is laid out. Unlike most anthologies, this is mainly chronological in reverse, starting with some new tracks and reaching back in time to '88's 'Ten Million Dollars'. The first two tracks are unashamedly commercial and radio-play seeking, and there's nothing wrong with that. First is an interesting twist on the Goth trend of making music that sounds like a horror movie soundtrack, it is a horror movie soundtrack - the theme from "Halloween" done EBM style, guaranteeing it instant cultural recognition. The second song is a cover of Simple Minds' 'New Gold Dream', but don't let that put you off. This version owes a lot more to the hard-edged dance version by Utah Saints a few years ago than to anything recorded by the Simple ones. It's an EBM version with a major rave influence and is perfect dancefloor fodder. After the first two tracks have grabbed the attention of journalists and DJs, they quickly make a point of proving their credibility, with a true blue EBM cover of DAF's 'Der Mussolini' complete with rasping German vocals, tight beats and looped riffs. This collection's major selling point, on paper at least, is the two remixes by Die Krupps and US scene darlings, KMFDM. The Die Krupps mix of 'Die Zeit' is a great slice of Germanic indus. with pounding beats, chugging guitars, rasping vocals buried deep in the mix and a classic looped sample of some Eastern-sounding instrument. The KMFDM remix of 'Ten Million Dollars', on the other hand, is a competent remix of a very early, rather amateurish track. The song is their oldest, dating back to '88 and the remix is that old as well, and it is obviously included simply to have KMFDM's name on the press release. The rest of the material is from their back-catalogue and shows a talent for experimentation and skilful execution. 'We Don't Care' mixes a very PWEI-esque vibe with guitar-heavy EBM, while 'I will follow you' is much slower and melodic, verging on Darkwave. 'When I Think About You' is very brooding and very Gothic, with a nice melodic chorus featuring strong female vocals. Their version of Tubeway Army's 'Down in the Park' is heavily Sisters influenced, sounding very like 'I Was Wrong'. Girls Under Glass mix styles together well enough not to sound derivative, even though their influences are fairly obvious. They also change their style often enough to avoid becoming boring. This is a well-planned assault on the US market and also a great introduction to one of the less well-known EBM bands. - Girl the Goth, S o r t e d m a g A Z i n e
"Nightmares" is a collection of the band's earlier releases with a few extra unreleased cover songs. Although I've suffered through more than enough covers of the "Halloween" theme, "Der Mussolini" and (of course) "Down in the Park", I have to admit that there's something about Girls Under Glass' sound that I always appreciate. New is a somewhat "pop" but very appealing version of Simple Minds' "New Gold Dream." Most of the other tracks and remixes will already be familiar to German audiences from band's previous nine releases. - Heide Castaqeda, Divine_6 Magazine (Germany)
Van Richter has provided this comprehensive retrospective album for those who missed or just want to revisit the last decade of material from electro industrial trio Girls Under Glass. Running the gamut from the darkest goth to the harshest industrial-metal, "Nightmares" uses original, remixed and unreleased tracks to document the musical quest of this aggressive and audacious European trio. - Tye Comer, CMJ
As the alternative scene continues to change over time; more bands are finding their experimental musical fusion - from Metal through Electro-Trance to Industrial are a success. The Hamburg, Germany based GIRLS UNDER GLASS are no exception. Since their founding in 1986, GUG have become one of the leading innovators of musical openness and known for their overlapping mixture of styles in the Industrial/Gothic realm. Feeling Goth? Nightmares, a compilation of their nine previous albums, never before released in North America. Experience the masterminded twist of Industrial and Gothic Rock including a cryptic cover of the movie theme from Halloween and Simple Mind+s "New Gold Dream". -
You'll get a creepy feeling that you've heard this somewhere before. It's "Halloween" from the 1978 film, remade as a slow-building hard electro dance track. It veers off from straight dance music down lanes strewn with distorted guitars and pure melody. Picture Jamie Lee Curtis in black leather dancing under strobe lights. -
Brand new full-length album by one of Germany's leading bands in electronic music. The Girls Under Glass have reached their eleventh cd release and are still giving proof of how their music can be involving and amazing. Seventeen tracks including unreleased versions, covers of Simple Minds, D.A.F., John Carpenter (legendary Halloween theme) and Gary Numan, collaborations with Love Like Blood guitarist and with members of Project Pitchfork/Bastard, remixes by Die Krupps and KMFDM and tracks from their maxi-cd "Die Zeit" and their albums "Crystals and Stones", "Down in the Park", "Christus", "Darius", "Flowers" and "Positive". Its best-of anthology collecting pieces spanning throughout a period of eleven years and presenting a wide array of moods and sounds that these masters in electro-dark-wave have been using for more than one decade to offer sincere feelings of 80's old-fashioned atmospheres. For fans and open-minded nostalgics. - Marc Urselli-Schdrer, Chain D.L.K. Magazine
Girls Under Glass new album from Van Richter Records ( is more than just a compilation of the group's previous work-nine albums to be exact- and it is now available to a North American audience for the first time. I'm not a huge fan of Goth plagued bands, but with the addition of a more industrial Nine Inch Nails sound my tastes have swayed towards a genre that is normally foreign to me. With numerous new bonus tracks, Nightmares includes three covers: The theme to John Carpenter's 'Halloween', Simple Minds "New Gold Dream" and DAF's "Der Mussolini". With a style that is a combination of Industrial, Gothic Rock, Synthesized Pop and New Wave, Girls Under Glass offer a slightly different twist- and the result is amazing music. In addition to the three aforementioned, Nightmares contains a few more covers. The band does a unique rendition of Gary Numan's "Down in the Park" which is better than the original version. There is also the Aggro Industrial song "Die Zeit" mixed by Die Krupps and "Ten Million Dollars" assimilated by Sascha Konietzko and En Esch of KMFDM.
Girls Under Glass show us their talent and diversity with the inclusion of some great ballads. Standout tracks are "When I think about you", "I will follow you" and the inspirational message "Reach for the Stars". Seventeen tracks and 74 minutes long, this CD will give you a good overview of what Girls Under Glass are all about in a very tight, strong and cohesive package. Nightmares is a must for fans of Industrial, Gothic and Synthesized Pop. It's too bad that Y107 and KROQ keep on missing the boat on great radio-ready bands like this - Squid McCreadie, Campus Circle Magazine
This classic European goth-industrial crossover band has been producing high-quality music for a long time, and its about time they display their anthemic tracks from their respectable discography. This retrospective album, aptly named Nightmares displays not only the bands ability in mastering synths and traditional instruments, but also in melodic vocals and creativity in their dark, addictive musical essence. Much harder than most bands of the goth genre, GUG have taken their music to a different level. If you are familiar with the likes of Gene Loves Jezebel, Alien Sex Fiend, etc., but youve wanted something a little closer to the industrial side of the spectrum, then I recommend Nightmares. - Daryl Litts, In_Faction Magazine
Well, its about time! The first ever North American release from Germany's Girls Under Glass. Van Richter Records presents "Nightmares" , a collection of G.UG. material spanning the twelve year career of these long standing rockers. The offerings on this disc very from straight forward industrial rock to structured electro, but all compositions are executed with conviction and purpose. From the Ministry - esque anthems, "Die Zeit" and "We don't Care" to the heartfelt electro ballads like "I will follow you", you can't help but become enveloped. Strong vocals and well crafted diverse yet consistent songs throughout. Although its hard to find a standout track here, "Nightmares" is a very solid release packed full of remixes, cover versions, unreleased material, and new tracks. A release for new fans and collectors alike. 6/7 - KWR, Sideline Magazine
This disc nicely sums up nine releases and 12 years of creating industrial tunage, and adds well-conceived covers and remixes by KMFDM and Die Krupps that haven't been heard on this side of the pond. The fascinating mix by Die Krupps for "Die Zeit" happened in 1995 and still sounds fresh and exciting today. The band had to dig into the vault to find the 1988 KMFDM remix of "Ten Million Dollars". One of the best reasons to pick this up to is hear how the industrial scene has grown and changed in the last decade. Buried in the middle of the career restrospective, which proceeds chronologically, is their cover of Gary Numan's "Down in Park", which predates Fear Factory, Luxt, and many others by several years. - Matt Mernagh, Exclaim Magazine
This is a best of compilation by one of my favorites, Girls Under Glass. Nightmares showcases Girls Under Glass as one of the best gothic industrial rock bands from Germany. Everyone in Europe is well aware of GUG's legendary status. Nightmares' key selling point is the phrase the best of GUG! This is more than true with such classics as "I will follow you", "When I think about You", "Desire", "Never Go" and "Shadows of Fear". These are all great songs included and as a bonus, digitally remastered. More killer tracks include the mighty remixes by KMFDM of the aggro bass heavy song "Ten Million Dollars" and the guitar driven mix of "Die Zeit" by the now departed Die Krupps. Nightmares also includes some of the best cover versions ever recorded (better than the originals). There is the seminal "Hallween Theme" (John Carpenter) which is pure dance floor destruction, the classic DAF "Der Mussolini" and Gary Numan's "Down in the Park". And yes you will find "Reach for the stars" from Nightmares. Thanks for that as well. - Jyrki Virtanen, Prospective Music Magazine
The term "aggro" has been very abused. Promoters have been known to use it for lots of lame "loud rock" bands. I think of it as a description for what bands like Girls Under Glass are doing: synthetic industrial with heavy guitars. The six string (and at times, twelve string) are emphasized, but don't overshadow the haunting electronics & sequencing. That's what sets this band apart from all the heavy metal bands that try to get the gothic crowds hooked. After seeing that track one is the theme song from Halloween, one has a hard time taking them seriously. But after listening to it that person knows Girls Under Glass mean business. Also worth mentioning is the Gary Numan cover. If this is the state of non-experimental industrial, then I'm not complaining. - Joel Adams, Interface Magazine
This is the first US release for Girls Under Glass on Van Richter Records. "Nightmares" is a 17 - song release in the tech/industrial/electronic music vein. Overall, it's an interesting release, very creative and original and a great introduction to US audiences of what Girls Under Glass can do. Most of "Nightmares" is off past albums but there's some previously unreleased material, which will be of interest to those who are familar with the band. Girls Under Glass is not a very heavy band, but they have a wicked groove to their music that is highly contagious. I really enjoyed listening to "Nightmares" and am looking forward to hearing more from Girls Under Glass in the future. - Miki Griesbauer, Ballbuster Magazine
This is a seventeen track best of from this long lived German darkwave band. It is fairly fitting that they begin this set with a brand new, rocks out version of the theme from "Halloween", because one can see GUG as a sort of Germanic Ministry (who do their own song called "Halloween", see, aren't we journalists just so clever?) The band is dark, beat heavy and sinister in all the right places, but that doesn't mean they are cliche. One of their fortes is covering 80's nuggets. On this set we get a great bouncy synth cover of "New Gold Dream" and a fairly rocky version of "Der Mussolini", plus a nice version of "Down in the Park". But the band does plenty well on the originals as well. The songs presented here vary nicely from ultradark Germanic to practically pop. An interesting look inside a cult band that deserves a wider audience here in the states. - David Richards, Lexicon Magazine
Girls Under Glass have been thrashing and stomping their way through the electro-industrial German scene since the mid 80's. That's quite a legacy. Starting in '87 with Humus and following that up with eight more Euro releases, GUG have a long list of successes. Their last release previous to Nightmares, which is billed as an anthology of their work by label Van Richter, was Firewalker - also in Europe. Band line up consists of Hauke Harms on electronics, Volker Zacharias on vocals/guitars and Axel Ermes on keyboards/guitars.
Nightmares has various remixes, unreleased material and other doo-dads for the industrial elite. All of the music contained here is industrial/electronic fare, good for doing the Industrial Stomp across whatever dance floor the DJ spins it over. While standard with the expected chunky guitar riffs, heavy bass, electronic grooves and some German / some English lyrics, it's quite good for its genre. And no qualms can be passed here, as GUG have been playing and pioneering this form of music for nigh on fifteen years. Nightmares is a long CD with a playing time of 74 minutes. There are 17 tracks ranging in size from 2:19 to the 5:52 minutes of I Will Follow You. You'll also hear remixes by KMFDM (Ten Million Dollars). You'll see the Die Krupps remix of Die Zeit as well.
The album opens with a remix - which is unusual for any CD. But very ingenious for the CD moniker when you realize that what you're listening to on track 1 sounds strangely familiar - and scary. After all, it is John Carpenter's Halloween score from the classic thriller/killer flick of the same name featuring the infamous Michael Myers - the man who can take a coat hanger in the eye and keep going. The score is untouched at the outset, electronic piano tripping you away back into the nightmare, but rather than suspense it's just pure violence this time. The barrage of techno-stomp rhythms, guitar riffs and the lone whine of the guitar solo up on high turns what was once a cower-under-the-blankets feeling into a stomp-ass raunch through the industrial wasteland of modern dance floors. It turns the fear around and projects it from you rather than on you. Very impressive. We'll kick Michaels ass something serious, this time.
From this point on, you're thrown against an infections groove. GUG's music is fast, aggressive, and so danceable it hurts to just sit here and write this. They have this knack of putting the guitars against the beat and rhythm tracks at just the right time and moment - KMFDM have that knack too. Industrial Stomp classics abound throughout Nightmares. Another highlight is the fifth track, We Don't Care. This is simply pissed-off-kick-something music, here. Hell, the opening of the track is Volker screaming "We don't give a fuck!" with all vocal decibels at max output. Talk about slamming you out of your reverie. And the song is actually more of a cheezy Who-We-Are rant than anything serious, anyway. And that's fine.
By track seven, right around the time the dreaded dancefloor dehydration kicks in, I Will Follow You opens with a slow, ambient choral arrangement. And the following When I Think About You isn't as stompy as the others either, but does have a good dance floor vibe. Another highlight that bears mentioning is Reach For The Stars. The vibe here is more of a groove with ethereal whispers and keys. The guitars that come in later are brash but controlled, powerful but checked. GUG then close their anthology release of Nightmares with Hidden Track. I beg to differ. Look, it's right there, clearly labeled! Track 17 - Hidden Track! It wasn't hidden very well at all.
Van Richter pushes their "aggro-industrial" schtick with their latest offering from Girls Under Glass. Rhythmic, powerful and in your face, GUG are one of the mid-80's pioneers of this sound. They're still doing this sound, but it's forgivable as this IS an anthological release after all. Additionally, previously unreleased tracks like Halloween and a DAF cover, Der Mussolini (for that German flavor), make it a good buy. Like I said, there are seventeen tracks here - that's a lot of music. And the songs included make a wide sweep across the previous European releases and places them here, on American soil. - Marcus Pan, Legends Magazine
"Halloween": the theme music from the movie Halloween starts this cool song out and gets everyone prepared for the heavy kill of screams. This is good music, pure and simple. The vocals are simple and direct, taking nothing away from the onslaught of great music. - Gunther G.,
A sinister gargoyle on the cover and one of the best band names in a while marks Nightmares entry through the festering gates of the Audio Drome with much pomp and circus dance. A vast arrangement of sounds and atmospheres come framed in, but not confined to, the electronic wave style. A collection of old, new and remixed stuff, Nightmares opens ominously with an electro - fried version of John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme and keeps the creeps rolling from there. This reverse chronological anthology captures a strange collection of dreamscapes and mental escapades that European goth and industrial pundits have come to expect from the Hamburg crossover band. Tight beats, looped riffs and occasionally tossed in German lyrics make for a good introduction to the band's eleven year history. Traces of Joy Division on "I Will Follow You" keep slow and sad bass lines hopelessly romantic, and earlier tracks like "Ten Million Dollars" remind us North Americans of White Zombie or Nomeansno with serious edge. TD (4 skulls) - Rue Morgue
Girls Under Glass has by far some of the most refreshing music on the market today. The Nightmares release through Van Richter Records is a compilation of both previous and unreleased works encompassing a wide spectrum of sound while reminding us exactly how seasoned these veterans really are. Technology and instrumentation mix to perfection. Hauke Harms, Volker Zacharias and Axel Ermes also have an attitude echoed throughout their songs giving them a definite edge. The Girls also bask in their version of Down In The Park by Gary Numan which is amazing, so saith the man himself. - TF, Nadamucho Webzine
This is a 'best of' collection of Girls Under Glass recordings from 1988-1999. The CD kicks off with an amazing cover of John Carpenter's Halloween theme. It was the theme music from John Carpenter's Halloween and Escape From New York films that first got me interested in dark electronic music. So hearing the updated version of the Halloween theme on this CD starting things off was just perfect in my opinion. The CD continues to be great with a lot of variety and diversity from song to song. Some songs are heavy guitar driven industrial, some are dark synth-pop, and others are darkwave. I don't care for the heavy guitar driven tracks too much, but the dark synth-pop and darkwave tracks are superb. Thankfully, they're the ones that make up the mnajority of this disc. Since there are so many different genres of music contained on this CD, it sounds more like a compilation of different bands than just one particular band. So if you want a CD packed with a mix of heavy industrial, dark synth-pop and darkwave songs, this would be a good one to choose. - Darklight, Wrapped in wire