Solid Rockhouse 2015
Former SCORPS skin-kicker reclaims his legacy in a good company to find a new ring to the classics.
The first member of German’s most famous heavy formation to release a solo album, Herman Rarebell’s debut was recut four years later, in 1986, with heavy guests, and now the veteran returns to the tested format – with a time-tested material. One may wonder why, but the record’s title says it all: the drummer co-wrote some of the enduring SCORPIONS gems which he gives a slightly different slant to here. The main change comes not from percussive department, though, yet from the vocal one, as these songs, ingrained in a radio-friendly ear with Klaus Meine’s voice, lent themselves nicely to different sets of pipes.
That’s why such an obvious opener as “Rock Of You Like A Hurricane” hits hard given to TOTO’s Bobby Kimball to handle heroically, just like “Falling In Love” does in Gary Barden’s grip. But if Tony Martin pours a BLACK SABBATH anger into “Another Piece Of Meat,” Don Dokken finds a fresh lyricism in the heaviness of “You Give Me All I Need.” Elsewhere, John Parr stokes “Passion Rules The Game” with a fire that’s much hotter than St. Elmo’s, yet arguably, the most impressive remake receives “Is There Anybody There?” which finds instrumental reggae edge half-concealed, what with Rarebell’s pounding toms, while Alex Ligertwood accentuates its vocal skank.
Unlike them, Thomas Perry drifts too close to the original on “Arizona,” and GREAT WHITE’s Jack Russell on “Don’t Make No Promises” whose AOR level matches the mark set for “Love Is Blind” by Paul Shortino. Still, contrasting Doogie White’s rage through “Make It Real,” the charge of “Animal Magnetism” gets high with an acoustic guitar solo from Jose Antonio Rodriguez rather than Michael Nagy’s assault, before young warbler Al Crespo from UNBREAKABLE waxes lyrical on Herman’s latest ballad, “Let It Shine” which SCOPRS would be proud to cut. They’ve been experimenting recently with various formats, so Rarebell may well be a legacy keeper, and he does his duty extremely fine.