We’re going to chance our arm here and guess that you’ve not heard of too many German punk-rock bands, and almost certainly none as good as Munich five-piece Things That Need To Be Fixed. Furthermore, there aren’t too many bands around with more words in their name than they have band members – so we’ll stick to TTNTBF.
The Munich band have honed a sound that fuses classic pop-punk with the heavier end of the punk scale, easycore and metalcore influences, with a bit of rap and K-pop thrown in for good measure. It’s safe to say it’s eclectic and a little bit different, which is always a good thing.
It’s a style that frontman Kle tells us led someone to recently describe their sound as “pop-punk like someone hits you over your head with a chair and then apologises by gently stroking your hair” and the band summarise as “surprising, uplifting, inclusive.”
The quintet of Kle (vocals), Thomson (guitar and vocals), Alf (guitar), Adri (bass) and Flo (drums and vocals) are, as Kle puts it, “the second iteration of TTNTBF. As he explains: “With us, it was like everyone kinda knew each other from before because we either listened to each other’s previous bands or met at the skatepark. TTNTBF is kind of a patchwork of our 3-4 favourite local bands from our youth. The band is a vessel for us to see new places and meet lots of new people.”
The band released debut album Neverest at the end of last month, on which Kle told us, ahead of its release: “A few fans are already posting ‘Insta-stories’ in anticipation of the album, that made us smile. We picked each single to be as different as the album consists of styles. It got us the casual ‘where is the easycore?’ or ‘no breakdowns?’ but that’s ok. We like surprises and we’re bored by repetition… so if you always order the same pizza you’re at the wrong address.”
The album’s opening track Breaking Barriers is a perfect portrayal of what you get from TTNBTF. The track throws up elements of classic pop-punk with a bit of melodic poppiness, some rapped vocals, angsty choruses and big heavy screamed sections. Check it out below:
The rap influence comes in at the start of Bad Girl, with heavy guitars supporting rapped vocals then a huge smash of booming guitars before the fast-paced vocals kick back in. Frenetic drums come in as we drive towards the chorus of “‘Cos she’s a bad girl and I lile it, If she’d kiss me I wouldn’t fight it, ‘Cos she’s a bad girl and she’ll always be this way with me.”
A little punky guitar filler gives way to an almighty mass of heavy guitars, big screamed vocals and pounding drums that drop into doomy guitars and huge bass drum, then a catchy chorus to finish. Check it out below:
Neon Rain continues in much the same vein, with catchy choruses and fun punky instrumentals and a cool little rapped section in the middle that feeds into a singalong chorus. While the excellent Robots & Dragons is one of my favourite tracks on the record. It’s a little more classic pop-punk, opening with fun punky guitars and a little darting lick then fast-paced vocals through the opening verse. It ends with a section of big screamed vocals answering clean vocals then feeds into a final chorus, check it out below:
Scars Like These does something highly unexpected as, having opened up with a hip-hop influenced intro then big stabbing guitars and a really cool darting riff under fast-paced vocals, it ends with vocals in a different language. As Kle explains: “We’d like to answer the question we often get ‘what language is that at the end of Scars Like These?’ It is Korean! Not Chinese or Japanese. Koreans mix in English… so we should start mixing in Korean too. The sentence literally means ‘a dragon rises up from a small river’ or ‘from rags to riches.'”
Unsurprisingly, TTNTBF’s musical influences and many and varied, ranging from the likes of Sum 41 and Blink-182 through to Deftones, Korn and Rage Against The Machine as well as NWA, Run-DMC, Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg.
And on what inspires their music, Kle tells us: “Our name pretty much covers what we write about. Anything that needs fixing. We’re our most creative from that kinda place where things aren’t fine. You have nothing to say if you’re life is A-Ok.”
TTNTBF are one of the first German bands we’ve discovered on the site, and on the German scene, Kle tells us: “You should come and visit us if only for the Oktoberfest. Bavarians are very open and unlike the clichés of Germans. The music scene is a different animal. While there has always been fandom for Queen or David Hasselhof, the German scene consists of two kinds of bands/musicians and a decision that comes along with it at the beginning: ‘Do we sing in German or in English?’
“If you wanna cater to the majority of Germany (make money) you go German. Your fans will mostly be people who listen to the German sound and watch overdubbed blockbusters. If you’ve always listened to English speaking bands, watched movies in OV and are fluid in more than one language you have your answer. It may sound strange but Netflix has helped so much in this with being the first service with original audio available. Imagine most people still don’t know how Bruce Willis or Stallone really sound.”
As a result, Kle tells us the band feels more European than German and like to shine the spotlight on emerging international bands. To that end, they created Spotify playlist Breakout Bands, which Kle tells us “Started as a ‘fuck you’ to pay-to-be-played playlists and has become a way for us to get in touch with amazing bands.” And it’s actually pretty damn good.
As Kle says: “We feel more like Europeans so we really wanna make connections that cross national borders. We want to be inclusive of other bands so we let our fans suggest their favourite bands from Munich and picked two features for our album.”
The band are currently lining up a mini-tour of Europe for 2020, having taken a six-month break from live gigs to write and record their album. You can see them ahead of that supporting Emil Bulls at Backstage Munchen on 1 August, more info on that is here.