RELEASE
1994
LABEL
Mute
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Industrial, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Album Review

With the implosion of Yugoslavia well underway (Slovenia thankfully escaped much of the destruction, but it was uncomfortably all too near), Laibach returned to the world of bitterly ironic cover versions with NATO. The critique of that organization's seeming inability to do anything about the Balkan war was implied but clear enough, apparent in both the extensive quoting of its mission statement in the liner notes and the song choices themselves. Drawing on acts ranging from Gustav Holst and Zager and Evans to DAF and Paul Revere and the Raiders, Laibach's theme for this particular collection was songs about war or destruction, transformed in the band's more recent style shown on Kapital. Electronic beats and further explorations of industrial and techno approaches -- including quite a bit of jungle, at the time a very cutting edge move -- mesh again with sweeping horn and string sections, but this time the framework of other songs helps the end results succeed more readily all around. Titular changes sometimes drew the connection to the Balkan conflict even closer -- thus the Paul Revere choice, "Indian Reservation," here becomes "National Reservation," while Holst's "Mars" becomes "NATO" itself -- but mostly Laibach lets the lyrics speak for themselves, often with the cruelest of ironies. Edwin Starr's "War," for instance, may well be one of the most covered songs on the matter, but it would be hard to dismiss Laibach's high-speed take, the angelic female voices calling out the names of international organizations and channels as it goes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most inspired choices result from the most cheesy of choices, with more than one example of dross turned into something truly creepy. Lead single "The Final Countdown" -- originally a ridiculous hit single for prancing hair metal ninnies Europe in the mid-'80s -- and the post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd stumble "The Dogs of War" turn out to be ready grist for Laibach's mill, as radical and unsettling a set of remakes as their earlier Beatles and Stones efforts.
Ned Raggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Natohttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  2. Warhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  3. Final Countdownhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  4. In the Army Nowhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  5. Dogs of Warhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  6. Alle Gegen Allehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  7. Anational Reservationhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  8. 2525https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
  9. Mars on River Drinahttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nato/id828943632?uo=5
purchase full album