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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Scorpions - Sting In The Tail CD review

The Scorpions – Sting In The Tail CD review
The Scorpions, to be honest and if you really think about it, have had just as impressive a career as possibly any other major rock act and so no surprise that they are looking to call it quits in the game, on a high!
Why do I say that? Well, the new album here, ‘Sting in the Tail’ is a release that should really please most of the bands loyal fans, especially after their last release, ‘Humanity Hour 1’ that seemed to receive a mixed reception from fans of the band. I for one thought it was an excellent release, a little different and definitely looking for that conceptual angle in its overall presentation.

The band is probably best known for its live act, which I can certainly bare witness to, having seen the band live on 4 of their UK tours and twice here in the US and I’m hoping to see them on this tour too as they have certainly not disappointed me!
It’s ironic also because typically The Scorpions seem to have been a band that will often shift more album sales, after a tour just because of how good they are live, but what I can tell you here, is this album seems to capture possibly the best elements of their many years of recorded material.

Starting with what to a certain degree sounds like a re-write of ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane,’ in Raised on Rock,’ so no bad thing there! Have to laugh a little as Klaus Meine even sings, ‘I was born in a hurricane …,’ in the very first line! Little side note though, is it just me or does the verse almost come across a bit like ZZ Top’s ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ with how the song is phrased?!
Oh and yes, the lyrics I have to say are just a little on the clichéd side, but it all works here!

Title track ‘Sting in the Tail’ is next and I have to get this off my chest right now, it almost sounds like ‘Lovedrive’ period Scorpions and that guitar solo, if I didn’t know better I’d say was Michael Schenker!

The tone and style just reeks of Rudolf’s brother Michael’s playing …
The track does have a part that I’m not over keen on with the sub-rap pre-chorus, ‘Yo yo, I got to go …,’
But otherwise the song is true to Scorpions style.

In ‘Slave Me’ it’s stop start riffing from the start, with a grinding vibe, in say a fashion like ‘Sammy Hagar’s 'Heavy Metal,’ which is OK but the sub-spoken piece just before the guitar solo is a little disappointing, but then again the song is in general something that keeps the band current, even with it being the last studio release, apparently …

‘The Good Die Young’ has Klaus again doing the sub-talk routine for each verse, but the chorus is great stuff and musically the song is right where Scorpions fans should be pleased.

Drums kick off next track ‘No Limit’ which cranks with true Scorpions pace and then ‘Rock Zone’ gives a slight nod to AC/DC or even G ‘N’ R if you ask me, intense is too small a statement and the band is seriously rocking out here and the solo is immense!

Time to take things down with a ballad next, that we all know The Scorpions can write all too well and ‘Lorelei’ is no exception to the rule with its haunting vibe. Nice stuff.

‘Turn You On’ is a mid paced, almost chug along rocker that then takes an interesting turn mid way through prior to the solo and again it’s big choruses that resound throughout this album and strong hooks. It’s probably a lot more instant than the last release, ‘Humanity Hour 1.’

‘Sly’ tells an emotional tale and is true power ballad material which again is nicely done.

Is it me or does ‘Spirit of Rock’ start with an almost ‘Born to be Wild’ like riff into the verse, before the strong chant chorus which almost rises with Boston like harmony vocals in places, but a fairly basic rocker overall.

Ending with ‘The Best Is Yet to Come’ is an ironic statement if this really is the bands last studio release. It’s almost written in a ‘Winds of Change’ manner to be honest and there’s nothing wrong with that but it does mean surprisingly that it’s power ballad time again for the third occasion on ‘Sting In the Tail.

I guess we’d have perhaps expected these guys to go out in a blaze of rockin’ glory, so 3 of the 11 tracks here being on the lighter side is to me, a bit of a surprise.
Still, all said and done these guys have really come up with an album that as I said before grabs elements of the bands very best material, so good stuff in my opinion.

How original is the new material? It’s really not and yes, there are many clichés here but I think overall Scorpions fans will be very happy with this release. Here’s to that farewell tour!
Raised on rock, oh yeah, you’d better believe it, even with the ballads taken into account, there’s much here to prove the Scorpions still have a sting in their tail!
Rating: 4 out of 5.

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