ROCK WOLVES – Rock Wolves (2016)
ROCK WOLVES, the new all-star trio featuring Herman Rarebell, Michael Voss and Stephan “Gudze” Hinz, will release its self-titled debut album tomorrow October 28 via Steamhammer/SPV.
The alpha male from this pack (founding member) ex Scorpions Mr. Rarebell describes his new band as “classic rock music, powerful but not too heavy”. The band features three musicians with some 40 years of experience: drummer Hermann Rarebell (Michael Schenker, Ex-Scorpions), vocalist and guitarist Michael Voss (Mad Max, Michael Schenker), and bass player Stephan Hinz aka Gudze (H-Blockx).
With such a diverse assembly of experience and talent this band seems practically spoiled for choice and ideas, this is clearly evident as you make your way through the record.
Rock Wolves is a band that is clearly in pursuit of perfection – the passion and eagerness is driven right home by a monster truck in the opening track ‘Rock For The Nations’ beautifully uplifting and full of character that I assume only comes from guys in love with the concepts they are creating; this tune is straight up classic hard rock with an epic atmosphere that could easily be the next rock anthem.
Make no mistake, this is a melodic hard rock album in the best classic sense, yet also touched with a some edge and neatly tucked into an AOR wrapper. The songs are loaded with melody, harmony, and groove, with catchy refrains and bright guitar solos. Of course, Mr Voss is an exceptional rock vocalist, singing clean with natural melody and harmony to his voice.
The song that was hardest to get past after the first listen (6 times before I got to the 3rd track!) and yes you’ve guessed it, my standout track, is track 2 ‘Surrounded By Fools’. A gut grabbing intro loaded to the gills with sexy groovy riffs, a bluesy breakdown before a sensual solo and a catchy chorus that slapped a huge smile all over my face.
They don’t stop with the wonderment there either, as the pace quickens in ’Out Of Time’ where they definitely don’t miss and hit the wall, totally hard rock chops bursting out of this one.
As this album plays out you’ll begin to notice that it has just that little extra something for everyone, from hard rock to romance to pure haunting ambience in tracks like ‘The Lion Is Loose’ and for AC/DC fans ‘I Need Your Love’, yes this record is for true rock fans containing whole-hearted and profound lyrics which caress our innermost hidden feelings at times.
Isn’t this what rock is all about?
The diversity doesn’t end there either, as the ballads kick in and drop down to a very calculated pace in ‘Nothings Gonna Bring Me Down’ and their cover of the 1985 classic by Heart ‘What About Love’. “Our new version has been given the blessing by songwriter Jim Vallance himself” said Rarebell, “His only comment was: this is even better than my original, so go for it”. Indeed it’s a very cool version.
Closer ‘Lay With Me’ has a strong, passionate vocal delivery with subtle harmonies and a feel of beckoning to someone’s arms with a classy melody surrounding the air.
For their first album Rock Wolves has dropped a really strong platter of melodic hard rock. It’s a powerfully and intelligently written record that will reach out and touch a wide audience. Because of the absolutely rock solid foundations it has emerged from, just like a phoenix from the flames, it will rise and it will succeed.
These three renowned German musicians that span a stunning 40 years in the business have produced a killer rocking album saturated in melody, relentless riffs to gorge on, high spirited and drenched with hard hitting hooks – what more could anyone want from a classic rock album?
Hopefully this will not be a one-off event, and we will hear more in the future.
01 – Rock For The Nations
02 – Surround By Fools
03 – Out Of Time
04 – What About Love
05 – The Blame Game
06 – Riding Shotgun
07 – Nothings Gonna Bring Me Down
08 – The Lion Is Loose
09 – I Need Your Love
10 – Lay With Me
Hermann Rarebell – drums, vocals
Michael Voss – vocals, guitars
Stephan Hinz – bass, vocals