Monday, March 22, 2010
Scorpions Sting In The Tail due out March 23rd 2010 is a must have for all fans of hard rock and heavy metal. Sadly this is to be their last album followed by a massive three year tour and as they have never before hinted that the end was near I must assume that they mean it. For me this album is an emotional full circle to when I first discovered the Scorps back in 1982. My friend Sean Wilson and I were picking weeds in a Salinas bean field for ill gotten warm bear money and enough cash to see John Carpenters The Thing just about every night (it was the best summer a 14 year old young punk could have)! The job was brutal but the tunes were hot, I popped my Scorpions Blackout tape in my big ass sony walkman, cranked it up to ten and didn't open it again until I got my hands on Iron Maiden's Number Of The Beast a few months later... It was just that good. Now 28 years later Sting In The Tail a hard rocking return to form and most like Blackout of all of their many studio releases. Produced by Mikael Andersson and Martin Hansen with a very obvious analog feel and a purposefully produced approach that shows what you can do without too many overlapping guitars or other stuff to get in the way of a kick ass guitar riff. One other thing that must be mentioned is how amazing Klaus Meine vocals sound! Scorpions have never had a bad album (which is unreal) but some are stronger than others, and it seems that this album was an agreement between the band to go out with a huge bang. As alway the guitars of Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs are freakin re-ding-dong-dinkulas! Pawel Maciwoda does what a good bass player does by keeping everyone on lock down with help from Southern California's own uber pounder James Kottack on drums. Track one Raised On Rock rips you face in half and you love it. Track two Sting In The Tail starts out with a wailing of guitar before in settles into a guttural vocal intro before the first verse and gives us the first sign that Klaus is up to the challenge of a take no prisoner vocal approach that ends up being so reminiscent of when they were the top band in the world that feel like saying don't you dare quit now! Track three Slave Me is a riff heavy juggernaut that has just the right whisper of Motley Crue. Track four The Good Die Young less an anti war song more of a pro soldier ballad (sounds about right... right)? Has more of that 1990s Scorpions feel but with the modern production it all blends seamlessly and gives you a needed break before the power chord chorus rocks you right back up! Track five No Limit back to the in your face head banging happiness! Track six Rock Zone could be the best opening riffs of the year, huge in its simplicity and a great reminder of what less is more can do for a rock song. Track seven Lorelei should be a cheesy ballad complete with soft synths and yet as always they somehow manage to make it a touching power ballad of love lost and the sadness that comes from waiting too long to profess your feelings (man I'm getting all choked up right now) Track eight Turn You On Has a nice drum into and vocal squeal to tell you to stop crying about your "Lorelei" and pump some fist in the air! Track nine Sly a lyrical time travel to 1985 and some really cool moody guitars set the pace (the drums don't kick in till past the 2 minute mark) and what is really the best power ballad of the album has a nice authenticity that actually made me feel something for Klaus. Track ten Spirit Of Rock Big guitars, big vocals, big drums, big fun! Lot's of cool harmonies in this one as well as some very subtle cool guitar licks. Track eleven The Best Is Yet To Come Is a bit of a tough one because I know it's the last new song the I will ever hear from the Scorps... my Scorps... I feel like I know this band, they have been a part of so much of my life and the thought that they won't predictably come through with a new record and tour every couple of years truly bums me out. What I'm saying is cherish this record, they did it for us! They put everything they have learned over there storied career and all the love, passion and power they could muster to say thank you and to say goodbye.
I am proud that a hard rock band from Germany touched my life to this degree, the magic of words and music is never to be denied. So for you guys I will do what Klaus say's I will take your hand because the best is yet to come.
"How can we grow old if the soundtrack to our lives is rock and roll"
5 out of 5 Anarchy Speakers
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Pearl Aday is related to Meatloaf. She's his daughter or daughter in law or some such deal... she sang backup in his band for a while and this is her breakaway solo project... THANK GOD! Pearl is an amazingly pure kick ass full throttle female fronted rock and roll band and I tell you I cannot get enough! Just as Orianthi has hidden her true rock self in pop, Pearl has emerged like the phoenix on fire! Scott Ian of Anthrax plays guitar along with Jim Wilson and the riffs are aplenty. Super solid rhythm section Marcus Blake on bass and Eric Leiderman on drums. Produced with just the right touch of rock sloppy by Joe Barresi who has worked with Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age and I believe is producing the next Bad Religion effort due out in 2010 (that should be awesome by the way!) The CD (which does not come with liner note if purchased on I-Tunes...Grrrr) starts off with Rock Child a message to those who came before (Janis Joplin, Joan Osborne Etc) that simply says I am here and I am ready. Track three Broken White is when we first start to see the artist past her influences and get a glimpse of what I expect future releases to celebrate openly. Track four Check Out Charlie has Ted Nugent taking time out from being a right wing, bow hunting kook to lay down some seriously nasty guitar with enough dark overtones to make you wonder what Pearl might be hiding.Track five Mama is what you would expect in the bluesy Joplin tradition yet it still manages to rock hard and smack of authenticity which is something only mature artists seem to be able to do. My favorite song after my third listen is Nobody which is an introspective journey that comes to form after a moody verse to a bigger than life of wall of guitars chorus that needs to be heard to be believed! All in all this record plays like a snapshot of the artist, all the passion, pain, love and fearless dedication that it takes to bear your soul for the world to see.
It doesn't matter if you are related to someone famous you just can't fake this. Keep it real Pearl, keep it real.
4.0 out of 5 Anarchy Speakers