First things first -- while this is essentially the same band that made Neon Golden, the Notwist were, at their beginning, a hard rock/metal band. Very little of their later, more popular sound is present on this, their first album. So for fans who are working their way through the back catalog, be forewarned that this bears no resemblance to the band you like. Despite this, The Notwist stands on its own as a thrashy and punky record with flailing drums, fun singalongs, and screaming guitar solos. Opener "Is It Fear?" is the highlight, a throwback to the raw punk scree of the Ruts, with a chunky start-stop riff, barely intelligible singing, and straight-up muscle. "Bored" ups the ante by upping the tempo and adding some scream-along vocals. Overall, it's a fun record, if fairly generic. The bulk of the album passes with a few memorable hooks, but nothing that would make it stand out from other hard rock records that were being made in 1989. Recommended only for the super-hardcore Notwist fans.
AllMusic Review by James Mason