Okay, so I’m a few days late, I know. It has been a very busy week. But, the good news is that I liked three albums in a row and Jon has gotten back on the train, at least he’s started to catch up. Eugene has been busy and is a bit behind, still, but he’ll get there, eventually. Let’s get on with it.
#32 – Restless and Wild by Accept.
Yeah… so, as with most people, my only knowledge of Accept was their biggest hit, from the album after this one and of the same name, “Balls to the Wall.” Never my favorite song, but it was pretty cool. Well, other than Udo Dirkschneider’s voice. It is unique but it is annoying as all get out. Imagine you took both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson from AC/DC, slammed their voices together and had that voice gargle a mixture of sand, glass and Draino. That’s what Udo Dirkschnieder sounds like.
Musically, this album is pretty good. It’s very 1982/83 sounding. That’s not a bad thing. I just think there were plenty of other bands that were out at that time, that didn’t have someone named Udo singing, that were more enjoyable to listen to. It’s fast and heavy, good qualities. There are several layered guitar parts on this album due to Wolf Hoffmann playing all the guitar parts, even though Herman Frank had joined the band, even being credited on the album.
Stefan Kaufmann is a solid drummer. His playing is definitely highlighted on “Fast as a Shark,” the opening track, which many people consider not only one of the fastest “speed metal” songs of its time, but possibly the first. It is driving and breaking the speed limit, at that. Peter Baltes bass work on “Neon Nights” alone is pretty cool, what with its octave pedal and distortion. He’s not doing a lot of other fancy work, holding down his bottom end. Only Baltes and Hoffmann are in the current lineup of the band. Former electrician, American Mark Tomillo has been with the band as lead singer for the last six albums. I haven’t heard anything from him but I know Eddie Trunk talks about him all the time (they’re “friends”).
My favorite track on here is “Neon Nights” and “Shake Your Heads” grew on me. Udo’s German accent makes discerning the lyrics a bit difficult. I thought the lyric in “Heads” was “take his neck and break it.” “Fast as a Shark” is impressive as a speed song. There was controversy with that tune, though. Not the song itself but the first thing you hear when you start the album.
When you start the album, it sounds like a record with a lot of surface wear and the old German children’s song “Ein Heller und ein Batzen” (A Farthing and a Penny) starts playing. It’s something right out of Heidi. That gets “scratched” off and they go into the speed-mastered song. The owner of the studio in which this album was recorded, Dieter Dirks, even sang on that actual recording as a child. That’s not the controversy. The controversy is the song “Ein Heller und ein Batzen” was used as a marching song by the Nazis, even though the song dated back to the early 1800s. The band denies knowing this at the time. I have no reason to not believe them.
Overall, the album’s okay, I think. but Udo takes the grade down about four points. I don’t know. It’s a fine album, just know the singer is annoying. Sorry, Eug, I know you’ll be mad at me for that, I just can’t help it. I do want to hear your thoughts on it, though. Jon, I know you’ll catch up soon. And, for the record, I meant no disrespect to Bon Scott or Brian Johnson, I am fine with both of them (just not mixed together).
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Fast as a shark he’ll cut out of the dark. He’s a killer – he’ll rip out your heart. On a one-way track and you’re not coming back ’cause the killer’s on the attack.” – “Fast as a Shark” (Hoffmann/Kaufmann/Dirkschneider/Baltes)