KICKHUNTER - review added 22nd July 2010
Album Review: All In (2010)
For fans of: Bluesy Rock 'n' Roll... and, er, other stuff
The sound of Kickhunter - Markus Grosskopf (Helloween) on bass, Rollie Feldmann and Stefan Aurel on guitar, Karsten Kreppert on drums, Ansas Strehlow on Hammond, and Jörg “JC” Wesenberg, Melanie Black and 'Ela' on vocals - is not what I expected at all. They've got a name like a heavy metal band, a member of Helloween in the line-up, suspiciously evil writing on the album cover...and yet they play a fun bluesy rock 'n' roll that wouldn't be out of place in a Stateside bar.
All In is the band's 3rd album and follows Hearts and Bones (2003) and Little Monsters (2007). The album, featuring guests Axel Mackenrott on keys, Jan S. Eckert on bass (each playing two tracks) plus guitarist Hermann Frankon the cover of the Victory track 'Checks In The Mail', was produced by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69).
Song wise, opener 'Mine All Mine' is a classic female-backing-harmony rock 'n' roller which instantly sounds like you've known it all your life. The speedy 'Revolution' is the same - very familiar and über cool. The smooth 'Another Tear' is more of a straight ahead rocker. The mellow 'Feels Like Home' is a real end-of-the-evening song with big nods to Lynyrd Skynyrd. The title track, which leads into 'Shy, Shy, Shy' is so ZZ-Top vs. Status Quo it isn't true...in a good way.
The 'Checks In The Mail' cover, one of two on the album, is very faithful to the original (save the singer being a different sex). 'Boogie Town' belts along, but doesn't do a lot for me. The ballad-duet 'Deep In My Heart' doesn't either. It's way too sentimental for my ears. The cover of Blondie's 'Call Me' is much better. Again, very true to the original, although not quite as good. Final track 'Ocean' has a ring-the-size-of-Saturn's of Pink Floyd about it. It's not a cover (as far as I am aware) but it may as well be.
There's lots of good stuff off on All In...and a few lesser moments too. As a whole, it's an unexpectedly good release that may surprise a lot of people.
Check out... 'Shy, Shy, Shy'