I remember the Scorpions from the glorious days of 80s metal. Their songs were tough and illicit. Klaus Meine had a thicker accent then, and it was cool to listen to him sing things no one could understand. My friends and I could exchange knowing glances, like we knew what the songs meant, like we knew what lewd references were really being made. All the while knowing that none of us had any clue what the guy was saying. Yeah, they rocked.
The Scorpions have returned and I know that I’m happy about it. I think bands of today can still learn from these seasoned rockers. They have a unique sound, their songs are recognizable right from the start. They lost a little luster in the 90s, but they are back now with a new CD, Humanity Hour 1.
Is it fresh? Not completely. Is it groundbreaking? No. Is it the Scorpions? Absolutely, and it rocks.
The first two tracks, “Hour 1” and “The Game of Life” do sound fresh and alive. “Hour 1” sets everything off with booming, tribal drums of war. It has an industrial edge to it, as well. “The Game of Life” reminded me of songs from their mid-80s record, Savage Amusement. Not a copy, but an update. The rest of the songs devolve quickly into routine hard rock. They don’t stand out as particularly impressive. Yet, they aren’t stale, either. The guitar work is razor sharp, the vocals are solid, the drumming concussive. It’s a CD that can be listened to again and again and be enjoyed each time.
The concept behind Humanity is nothing new. It’s an idea from Desmond Child, and basically it’s a man-against-machine story. We must ‘reclaim our humanity’ from the soulless evil of technology. So there are love songs, of course in the form of “You’re Loving Me to Death,” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive.”
“Love is War” seems to indicate that man’s love of technology will lead us to war with our machines. “We Will Rise Again” is, of course, about mankind rising from the ashes of destruction. This is like Desmond Child’s version of The Matrix, as translated by the Scorpions. Then there is “321”. I have no idea how it fits into the concept, but I sure appreciated the menacing tone of the guitar. That song is just a big, loud rocker.
Humanity Hour 1 is a great CD. It’s not a masterpiece. It’s not groundbreaking. But it is refreshingly stable rock and roll. You don’t have to think too much, and you don’t have to absorb any new and innovative musical technique. Just slip this into a CD player, throw your hands in the air and rock.
The Scorps themselves say it best on that track that doesn’t fit into the record: “3-2-1, are you ready to rock?”Powered by Sidelines