Friday, October 29, 2010
Herman Ze German - Take It As It Comes album review
Herman Ze German – Take it As it Comes album review
Released on: Dark Star Records. Release date: Available now.
Yes, for those of you wondering this is indeed the new ‘solo’ album from former Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell, supported by various – perhaps – lesser known friends, at least to my knowledge.
Someone who is close to Herman that does play on here is his other half – At least based on his reference to Claudia Raab, that it is his other half?! – playing saxophone on a number of tracks, which comes across to make a very interesting release, alongside much hard rocking material!
It’s not too bad an album overall, although Herman himself, when he takes on lead vocals, has some moments that are clearly, tongue squarely in cheek, nowhere more so than on his re-recording of Scorpions classic, ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane,’ but more on that later …
Opening with the title track, ‘Take it as it Comes,’ starts with some laid back guitar and solitary snare drum before then building up and straight into a rocking chorus, with some strong shared harmony vocals. Herman then takes the lead vocal throughout the verses and it’s amusing at times, but still alright as an overall track, very catchy chorus indeed. Great sax solo here too.
It’s funny to associate sax solo’s with so much of a rock album, the likes of which is hard to think of, except for say Quarterflash (I know, they were pretty laid back ... Not too rocking!) or Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band.
In ‘Don’t Lose Your Trust’ the song has a very AC/DC type vibe, right down to Stefan Erz’ almost Bon Scott like vocals.
Another good solid mid to up tempo track, with that AC/DC style of riff throughout and then, yes, sax solo again and then some tasty guitar riffing towards the end from Winnie Thomasschewski – Phew, now there’s a name for you!
Herman says in the sleeve notes that ‘Rough Job’ – That almost sounds like the words ‘Rapture’ to me! – is about phone sex girls … Enough said on that except that the point is emphasized by ‘artificial’ moans and groans of ecstasy in the chorus. Talk about seriously tacky, this seriously is!
Ready for a little more AC/DC … ‘Let Me Rock You’ is certainly in that style again, good up tempo rocker and really is totally contagious and you try not to sing along with it and get into the Angus Young style solo no less! Good one!
It’s power ballad time next in ‘Your Love Is Hurting’ and it almost reminds me of Def Leppard musically with the intro and then almost Meatloaf in the rest of the structure, in the same style as Meatloaf’s biggest hits. This could seriously be a big hit with the right promo behind it. I certainly think it would work in the UK, in the US, who knows?! The guitar solo could be Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, it’s really that strong a track.
‘Freak Show’ next starts in an almost prog rock type laid back, haunting style through the verses, then the chorus kicks in and is it something Alice Cooper could’ve done or Queensryche?! There, I bet that throws you a little folks!?! There’s a lot musical interaction going on in the background of the track, to certainly give it that almost prog rock type feel.
Next track ‘Heya, Heya’ was recorded for the childrens charity organization, ‘World Vision’ - http://www.worldvision.com/ – and it starts with Indian ritual chanting, before the band kicks in with an overall mix that sounds great! It actually reminded me of Swedish band Europe, with the great guitar licks, big Hammond organ sound and powerful rhythm and then kids start chanting, ‘Heya, heya, heya, heya,’ and Herman then take the lead vocals and overall it just works. How to describe the overall sound, tough, but it’s a good strong rock backing mid paced rocker. I love it!
‘Back Attack’ is a more jangly poppy, commercial type rocker with some great harmonica too and yes, catchy chorus too!
OK, Herman says in his sleeve notes to Scorpions fans to give his version of ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ a chance.
I must say the intro builds in an interesting way and then the rocking band kicks in, with a lead synth solo where the Scorpions had wailing lead guitar, but it sounds good ... Then comes Herman vocals … Basically it’s a fast talk through of all the original verse lyrics, but then for the chorus it’s sung in the same fashion as the Scorpions did it, but then where Klaus Meine would sing the ‘C’mon, c’mon, c’mon …’ Herman speaks some German … Odd, but kind of amusing! When it comes to the solo, everything stops for a laid back sax solo … Sure it’s done differently and at first I thought, ‘No! What are you doing?!’ Now I think it’s great fun!
Then Herman and his friends cover the old classic surf track ‘Wipeout’ in a completely rockin’ it out manner and some seriously impressive guitar soloing from the artist simply identified as, ‘The Mistery Man!’ Yes, more fun!
Herman then lets rip with ‘Drum Dance’ another instrumental track, that I can’t help hearing a nod or so towards one of my own drumming heroes, Cozy Powell. - If you’ve heard Cozy’s solo material, you’ll know where I’m coming from.
‘I’m Back’ is a very commercial laid back almost like a modern country pop song, as the last official track here.
There’s then a bonus track in the shape of the ‘Radio version’ of the power ballad ‘Your Love is Hurting,’ that closes the album proper and it really sounds like ‘hit single’ is written all over it.
So, is it a good album? Well, I’ve really come to like it, for it’s clearly tongue in cheek moments, some great rocking moments, some clearly, good musicianship and more. Give it a chance I’d say and perhaps you’ll get the kick that I did!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.